What does success mean to Asian-Americans? Northwestern Mutual reported that they seek a happy life and financial security.

Milwaukee-based Northwestern partnered with YouGov to survey 501 Asian-American adults and ask them how they define financial security.

The respondents viewed saving money, spending wisely, paying down debt and sound financial literacy as ways to achieve financial security. Sixty-two percent chose saving money as the most impactful way, followed by spending wisely (58 percent).

In addition, 73 percent responded that saving was a top priority for their financial security.

Vivian Chen, the director of Asian market strategy at Northwestern Mutual, said around 70 percent of Asian-Americans are foreign-born or first generation, and that may be a reason they don’t turn to financial advisors for guidance with financial goals.

“For us as a first gen, we are not familiar with working with financial advisors because that’s not how our parents worked,” said Chen. “In a way we have a do-it-ourselves” mind-set.

The study showed that family and friends were rated a top source for financial guidance; 34 percent responded that they seek advice from their parents, 30 percent go to their friends and 28 percent turn to their spouses.

As for long-term financial goals, 29 percent want peace of mind about their financial situation; 20 percent want to maintain a certain lifestyle throughout retirement, and 15 percent want to be debt free.

Still, different generations have different outlooks on financial success. Chen said that the one thing the generations do have in common is the desire to pass down wealth.

“Culturally, [Asian-Americans] are really looking for [trusted] advisors that really understand the culture and really understand the need,” said Chen.

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