“We almost went bankrupt,” he said. “We lost almost $ 350,000. To date, Mr. Napoleon has only been able to replenish a fraction of the savings he invested in the business, which has significantly compromised his long-term plan to buy a property and create a flow of rental income.
“I have always set myself the goal of being financially free,” said Napoleon. “My family is very poor,” he said. “Luck is what keeps them stable.” It was now frustrating, he said, to realize that his credit rating had sunk under the weight of the debt he had accumulated when his cash flow plunged. Now he actually has to start over.
Mr Napoleon said his family home in Brooklyn, where he and his four siblings, one of whom has special needs, grew up, has been foreclosed for more than a decade. “They worked very hard as American immigrants to get their homes,” he said. “One of the reasons I want to retire earlier is to spend time with my parents and give them something to do. “
The sense of obligation to provide for parents and sometimes extended families weighs on the finances of many millennials with roots in immigrant communities, said Shellise Rogers, 30, who grew up in Trinidad and New York. and turned to Score for advice. She now lives in New York and has her own business as an accountant and business coach.
“It’s more about building for the family than for the individual,” she said. “Certainly, as someone who works in finance and accounting and has a lot of clients of color, I notice there is a need for immediate cash flow” for a lot of people, she said. Compared to reinvesting in their business, “adding to a 401 (k) doesn’t seem so successful.”
Mr. Duplessi said he decided to put money into a 401 (k) when he finally got the chance to open an account two years ago when he became eligible to do so by through his union. But he said he didn’t know how much to trust him, since both of his parents lost money in their accounts during the 2008 financial crisis and he was unable to make any contributions when the hotel where he worked closed during the pandemic.
Many black and Hispanic workers don’t even have the option of opening a 401 (k). Federal Reserve data shows 68% of white working-age families have access to employer-sponsored defined contribution plans such as 401 (k) compared to only 56% of black workers and 44% of Hispanic workers who have access to such plans. .