Solutions to Increasing Financial Literacy, Retirement Preparedness Among Hispanics the Focus of TIAA-CREF Institute Symposium

Nationally Recognized Experts Convene to Highlight Challenges and Opportunities Hispanics Face in Their Personal Finances at University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX, November 12, 2015 – Ways to engage the Hispanic community around personal finances and efforts to raise the financial literacy of this growing and influential community were some of the topics discussed today at the 2015 TIAA-CREF Institute Fellows Symposium on “Advancing Financial Literacy, Capability, and Well-Being among Hispanics.”
Jointly hosted with the University of Texas at Austin Center for Mexican American Studies and Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies in Austin, Texas, the symposium focused on generating improved and unique strategies to address the long- and short-term financial wellness of the Hispanic community. Experts from TIAA-CREF, government, business, and the Hispanic community discussed how colleges and universities can play a role in ensuring Hispanic students and community members have the knowledge to be financially prosperous, including through culturally resonant programs.
“While Hispanics in the U.S. have certainly made impressive gains, many still face steep financial challenges, including struggles with debt, limited savings and low financial literacy,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, Senior Managing Director and Head of TIAA-CREF Institute. “The TIAA-CREF Institute has taken an active interest in examining these issues and finding solutions to them.”
This symposium is following a report recently published by the TIAA-CREF Institute and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at the George Washington University School of Business on Hispanics and their personal finances.  “Hispanic Personal Finances: Financial Literacy and Decision-making among College Educated Hispanics” examined the personal finances of college-educated Hispanics through a systematic analysis of their assets, liabilities, planning behavior, financial fragility and financial literacy.  Key findings from the report include financial literacy rates that are lower than other populations and difficulties in covering expenses and paying bills in a typical month. The report also highlighted that programs to increase financial knowledge can have a significant positive effect on the financial condition of Hispanics.
“In the report we found that college-educated Hispanics are less likely than their peers to be equipped with the tools and skills needed to make sound financial decisions that can ultimately shape their lives and the lives of their families,” said Paul Yakoboski, Senior Economist, TIAA-CREF Institute. “Our symposium panelists provided great depth around obstacles faced by the Hispanic community as it relates to financial literacy and retirement readiness. With a community that contributes to the American economy in such a sizeable way as the Hispanic community, the urgency for solutions is real.”

About the TIAA-CREF Institute

The TIAA-CREF Institute helps advance the ways individuals and institutions plan for financial security and organizational effectiveness. The Institute conducts in-depth research, provides access to a network of thought leaders and enables those it serves to anticipate trends, plan future strategies and maximize opportunities for success.

About the University of Texas at Austin Center for Mexican-American Studies

Born out of the activism of the civil rights movement, the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) was established in June 1970, with Professor Américo Paredes as one of its principal founders and first director. The establishment of CMAS represents the institutional recognition that the Mexican American people are important in the history of the United States.

About the University of Texas at Austin Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies

The mission of the UT Austin Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies is to create a new generation of scholars, practitioners, and activists to research and analyze the life, history, and culture of Mexican-origin and Latina/o (Central, Caribbean, and South American) populations within the state of Texas, the United States, and their diasporas. The department is the first of its kind in the U.S. academy, offering students an array of rigorous degree programs that train them to be among the most competitive Latina/o serving professionals in the nation.  At the forefront of innovation with degree tracks in Cultural Studies, Policy, and Language and Cognition, MALS faculty and affiliates are leaders in the study of immigration, race, gender, sexuality, social class, and health science humanities.


TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $834 billion in assets under management (as of 9/30/2015) and is the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.