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Survey: CO Hispanics Hit Harder by Recession

March 31, 2010

DENVER - The recession has dealt some tough challenges to Hispanics in Colorado and the rest of the nation, according to a survey released this week by AARP. More than 400 Hispanics over age 45 were polled. The results: Hispanics are more than twice as likely to have lost a job, and more than 40 percent of those surveyed had problems paying for essential items - such as food and utilities - over the last year.

Rocky Egusquiza, vice president of Multicultural Markets for AARP, says many Hispanics in the so-called "sandwich generation" are stretched especially thin.

"You see a lot more Hispanics caregiving both for their kids and their parents, and that also is economically affecting Hispanics during the recession."

Egusquiza says there is good news in the survey, too. Many Hispanics have taken positive steps toward getting trained for new careers and jobs, and also are starting new businesses.

"Hispanics are sort of leading the way in terms of entrepreneurship and taking on opening new businesses, which I think is very positive."

However, many financially-strapped Hispanics may choose to cut back on medications, Egusquiza says, and that's one stop-gap measure AARP wants people to reconsider.

"This leads to health risks and increasing long-term costs for these decisions that can be dangerous."

She points out that getting into a financial squeeze can lead some to borrow against their retirement or make other decisions with long-term consequences. She advises Hispanics to access online tools for financial planning, retirement and help enrolling in government programs at www.aarp.org.

The report is at www.aarp.org.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO