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An LGBTQ+ Person’s Guide To Saving For Retirement

Retirement Saving

For the LGBTQ+ community, saving for retirement can be even more challenging than your typical working person. Issues like low income, discrimination from financial institutions, and low savings can get in the way of a comfortable retirement.

If you are an LGBTQ+ community member and want to start preparing for retirement, this guide is for you. While this guide references future Florida retirees, the advice shared is relevant to all LGBTQ retirees. Learn about the retirement challenges all LGBTQ+ individuals face and how you can overcome them.

LGBTQ+ Individuals & The Retirement Savings Gap

In most cases, the LGBTQ+ community faces the same retirement savings challenges as everyone else – low financial literacy, poor spending habits, and debt. However, because of other distinctive challenges, LGBTQ+ individuals have saved less for retirement compared to their peers – and there are statistics to prove it.

Lower Income

Unfortunately, LGBTQ+ individuals hardly make as much as their heterosexual counterparts. Not to mention, unemployment rates are three times higher, with 10% of LGBTQ+ employees leaving their jobs due to unwelcoming environments.

According to the UCLA School of Law, 22% of LGBTQ+ Americans live in poverty, with gay men, in particular, earning almost 50% less than straight men.

While the ability to wed same-sex partners has significantly reduced financial stress for many LGBTQ+ couples, workplace discrimination remains rampant.

Family Dependency

Because of low employment rates and less-than-healthy savings, many LGBTQ+ children remain dependent on other family members. In fact, between 37% and 43% of LGBTQ+ children are still financially dependent.

Similarly, LGBTQ+ children supporting an older loved one may find themselves unable to settle outstanding debts. The good news is, there are ways to apply for financial assistance, such as through the Medicaid community.

Discrimination From Banks

Like employers, not all financial institutions are welcoming of LGBTQ+ applicants. For example, when applying for a mortgage, LGBTQ+ people are 73% more likely to be turned down despite Florida housing nondiscrimination laws.

Even with a retirement account through LGBT banking services, queer people don’t have nearly as much saved as the rest of the population.

Money-Saving Tips For Queer Florida Retirees

There are almost 900,000 Floridians who identify as LGBTQ+, most of whom struggle with a retirement savings gap. Until the LGBTQ+ community achieves complete economic equality, here are a few retirement-saving tips you can put into practice.

Have Emergency Savings

Whether LGBTQ+ or not, you’ll want to have ample savings – even more than what most professionals might recommend. Because LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be denied employment or membership with a bank, it’s best to have at least six months’ worth of savings for living expenses at any given time.

Invest Your Income

If you already have an IRA or are applying for one, you should consider investing in:

  • Bonds and stocks
  • Real estate
  • Investment income through a part-time job or personally-owned business

To make it easier to funnel your income into your investment accounts, consider setting up an automatic electronics fund transfer (EFT) with your employer.

Prepare Your Documents

Documentation plays a significant role in retirement, so collating your legal papers can help save you the stress of organizing them later on. Of course, you’ll also want to draft a living will, especially if you have a spouse.

If you are not familiar with the paperwork required to make retirement plans, consider working with a financial attorney. Alternatively, you can use electronic storage software to make your documents accessible at any given time.

Pick A Queer-Friendly Bank

Unfortunately, discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community is legal in many U.S. states – even within financial institutions like banks. Because of this, you’ll want to work with an LGBT bank that has evidence of a non-discrimination policy. Always pick a queer-friendly bank that helps you meet your savings goals, provides budgeting services, and allows you to use your chosen name.

We recommend Daylight, a bank exclusively for the LGBTQ+ community. Not only does it honor your chosen name, but it also comes with a whole host of financial features that every queer banker needs to save for retirement. These include no fees and minimums, customizable savings goals, account analytics, and access to fair loans.

Sign up for the Daylight waitlist today and they’ll even donate $10 to one of several LGBTQ+ non-profit organizations!

You can also try these queer-friendly banks available in Florida:

  • Capital One
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Experian
  • Superbia Credit Union
  • TD Bank

Purchase Long-Term Insurance

Like any other working individual, life insurance is necessary for a comfortable retirement. However, if you can’t yet afford whole life insurance, choose one that returns your principal if it ends up going unused.

Prioritize picking life insurance with death benefit riders that can help support your spouse in the future.

Consider Your Choices For Elderly Care

For LGBTQ+ individuals with strained family relationships or without children, saving up for elderly care might feel almost impossible. Not to mention, long-term care insurance for LGBTQ+ specific health problems like HIV can be costly. In some cases, insurance products for HIV-positive patients may not even be attainable. Until now, Florida lacks transgender-inclusive health benefits and financial assistance for state employees.

For LGBTQ+ retirees accepted into elderly homes, roughly 23% experience mistreatment or discrimination, physical harassment, or even sexual assault.

To help save on retirement expenses for elderly care and find a queer-friendly home, look into SAGE-certified programs. SAGE Care has trained over 100,000 professionals to work in LGBTQ+ spaces and provides gay finance assistance for older queer individuals.

Through SAGECents, an online financial literacy tool, LGBTQ+ elders can find resources for combatting financial stress, taxes, and healthcare. Elders can also use it to connect with LGBTQ+ friendly financial advisors.

Floridian retirees can consult with SAGE South Florida for dedicated discussion groups, financial help, and other resources.

The Bottom Line

Despite much-needed changes in LGBT finance, many queer individuals continue to struggle with retirement savings – even in more socially liberated cities within Florida. Many go without the help of financial advisors and even lack basic insurance.

If you want to work with an LGBTQ+ specific bank that can help you personalize your saving goals, look no further than Daylight. We are a community that allows users to exchange financial advice, invest in the right places, and access information regarding money matters.


***Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

Written by Rachel Covello

Rachel Covello is an award-winning speaker, writer, diversity consultant, and LGBT advocate. She is the Founder of LGBT Equality Alliance, a Chester County, PA nonprofit organization, and CEO of OUTCOAST, an online marketing and concierge platform marketing the Gulf Coast as an LGBTQ-inclusive place to VISIT, CELEBRATE, and LIVE.

Rachel is also an avid event photographer and has captured photos for LGBT organizations around the world, including the IGLTA, NGLCC, NLGJA, and Out & Equal.


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