Are AAPI Seniors Financially Secure?

Compared to other ethnic groups, AAPIs (Asian American & Pacific Islanders) as a whole are generally seen as more economically secure. They have higher average household incomes and are major consumers and users of financial products and services. One factor may have to do with the often larger and often multi-generational households. However, a new report by AARP paints a bleak picture of Asian American seniors.

The AARP report found that Asian Americans are less likely to have social security, pensions and retirement savings making them especially vulnerable.

  • 14% of AAPIs age 65+ are on food stamps vs 9% of general population in the same age group.
  • 13% of AAPIs age 65+ live in poverty vs 9% of total US 65+ population.
  • 68% of AAPIs age 65+ receive social security vs 86% of total US 65+ population.
  • 29% of AAPIs 65+ own their homes free and clear vs. 48% of the total U.S. 65+ population
  • 24% of AAPIs 65+ rent their homes vs. 16% of the total U.S. 65+ population.

Chinese and Filipinos are the largest of the AAPI groups over 50.

  • 18% of Chinese American seniors live in poverty vs 9% of the total U.S. 65+ population.
  • The median income of Chinese is $27,193 vs $33,906 of the total U.S. 65+ population.

The study showed that Asian Americans who speak English have better financial security than non-English speakers. However, very little data exists of Asian American seniors, especially in each ethnic subgroups.  AARP calls for more research in order to provide appropriate services and care for our aging seniors.