Como se dice — “opportunity” — en Español? It’s more complicated than just speaking Spanish.

Image your practice 10 years from now and think about the world we might be working in. What comes to mind? What does your client base look like? Where does your business come from? How might you start laying the tracks today for future opportunities? Enough questions, it’s answer time: if I’m in your shoes, two areas I might start to invest in are Generation Y and Hispanic investors.

We’ll hit on Gen Y in another post, for now let’s focus on the Hispanic market. I recently read a whitepaper that estimates in the next 20 years Hispanics will represent 31% of the work force.1 That’s a tremendous amount of growth, and more and more Hispanic employees will have access to some type of retirement plan.

Although retirement is not a new concept to U.S. Latinos, planning for retirement does have different meanings, and “saving” may not necessarily be part of it, especially for those who are in the early stages of an immigrant experience. Working with Hispanic employees is more than just speaking Spanish. It’s about cultural influence. 

Take a look at the chart below. There are 3 levels of acculturation, or the degree to which a foreign-born Hispanic adopts American cultural practices and the English language.

3 levels of influence: unacculturated, partially acculturated, mostly acculturatedSo how can you adjust your practice to incorporate culturally appropriate retirement services that help more Hispanic employees prepare for retirement?

Here are five things to keep in mind:

  1. Think “bicultural” not “bilingual” – Bicultural is much broader than simply using a different language. It means navigating seamlessly between Hispanic and non-Hispanic cultures.
  2. Transcreate, don’t translate – Don’t translate word-for-word; recreate messages in a way that retains financial meaning while incorporating cultural relevance.
  3. Keep it simple – By identifying, developing and integrating culturally relevant stories and examples, you can help simplify some of the more complex retirement education topics.
  4. Adjust to the mindset – Hispanic workers may have unique attitudes toward retirement because they might not fully understand how retirement plans work. Financial education is key – just remember #3, keep it simple.
  5. Incorporate the right levels of culture and language – The Hispanic workforce – just like every other client and their employees – have unique needs, don’t make your solution a one size fits all.

If you start today, you can be ahead of the game, and ready for the RFP or committee question around how you can help their Hispanic employees save more for retirement. Start now and soon we’ll talk about how Gen Y investors are your next opportunity!

1The Pew Research Center.

2Ipsos. U.S. Diversity Marketing Report, 2012.

3Ipsos. U.S. Diversity Marketing Report, 2012.


In addition to blogging here, I also tweet regularly about advisor-focused practice management topics like sales and lead generation, marketing, service and management/operations. Follow me on Twitter at @Rschutty.

Affiliation Disclosures

Insurance products and plan administrative services are provided by Principal Life Insurance Company. Securities are offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 1-800-547-7754, Member SIPC and/or independent broker dealers. Securities sold by a Princor® Registered Representative are offered through Princor. Princor and Principal Life are members of the Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®), Des Moines, IA 50392.

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  • Andrew Martin

    ¿Como se dice — “opportunity” — en Español?