In an article about how bias can be financially costly for member of the LBGT community, The Washington Post notes that gay couples have a lot less saved for retirement than their heterosexual counterparts. And depending on the figures you find about how much the average heterosexual couple saves for retirement, you can see why there is concern about LGBT Baby Boomers falling into poverty during retirement. Whether they move away from a state that recognizes their marriages solely because they want to or because there is a personal or professional need, LGBT couples may have to fight for their retirement funds. LGBT seniors are not guaranteed to get survivor’s benefits because their marriages are not recognized across the country.
Married or single, the Post emphasizes that LGBT Baby Boomers face unique challenges:
“For many, decades of workplace discrimination impaired their earning potential. The AIDS crisis caused lasting financial and psychological damage, particularly for gay men. And legal pitfalls within Social Security, the cornerstone in any senior’s financial planning, have left gay baby boomers ill-equipped for retirement.”
The Post also notes that some of those who spent decades fighting for their civil rights now find that they are not able to retire with dignity.
Many older Americans face getting older without being able to rely on family members for assistance and LGBT seniors are no different. However, LGBT seniors who can afford to move into nursing homes sometimes find that they are not welcome.
If you are concerned about how being a member of the LGBT community may affect your life in retirement, you can get serious about retirement planning before you are ready to stop working. All of us need to save more and manage our money better. You can make sure you are up to date on you Social Security benefits. You can also consult resources like the Gay Retirement Guide for help tailored to you.