Retirement Planning for the LGBTQ+ Community

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Retirement Planning for LGBTQ+ Community

By 2030, the LGBTQ+ community will have 7 million seniors. Retirement is challenging for the LGBTQ+ because of the unique hurdles they encounter. The cumulative stress of identifying as an LGBTQ+ individual eventually impacts a person’s life as they advance in age.

From income disparity throughout the employment age, insufficient spousal estate tax benefits, limited legal representation, social isolation, and a heightened vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, there are myriad of reasons why this community does not thrive during the golden age. Here is how you can secure a comfortable retirement despite the issues impacting your life.

Challenges Faced by LGBTQ+ Retirees

Healthcare Needs

LGBTQ+ adults still face healthcare discrimination in terms of access and costs, yet they are susceptible to long-term healthcare conditions because of prolonged exposure to psychological distress due to discrimination. A lifetime of social stigma, abuse, and targeted violence increases their propensity toward cardiovascular and mental illnesses. LGBTQ+ community is also vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infections because of increased substance abuse use and multiple sex partners.

CDC shows of the new 34,800 HIV/AIDS infections recorded for men in 2019, 70% were gay and bisexual men. There are no statistics for women in this community due to underrepresentation. Unfortunately, homophobia constrains the use of HIV prevention and treatment services for the majority of the community.

Legal Considerations

Although people in same-sex marriages can now receive benefits if their partner dies, the process is complex. Survivors must prove they were in a marital relationship at the time of the partner’s death, or their marriage would have lasted longer had it not been for state laws preventing the legality of the union. Children, including adopted or dependents of LGBTQ+ families, undergo rigorous scrutiny to qualify for benefits. 

Social Isolation

LGBTQ+ seniors are perhaps the most isolated demography in living facilities unfriendly to the LGBTQ+ community. Many have no children or have severed ties with family because of their sexual orientation. As they age, they find themselves alone with unique needs than other retirees in living homes. Loneliness and rejection can significantly reduce a life span or diminish their desire for living.

Planning for a Secure Retirement

Maximize Retirement Savings

Secure your retirement period by saving throughout your career. Identify your retirement needs, set savings goals, open a retirement savings account, and automate your savings. You can also achieve this by contributing to employer-sponsored plans.

Healthcare Planning

The LGBTQ+ community has access to medical insurance coverage as much as heterosexuals, thanks to the federal Affordable Care Act. Utilize all insurance available, from Medicare to Medicaid and employer-sponsored coverage. Research your options and consider long-term care insurance for future medical expenses.

Legal Protections

Secure your estate through estate planning to ensure your wishes get executed when you are incapacitated or deceased. Hire an estate planning attorney with expertise in LGBTQ+ issues to plan and implement your desires. Create wills, trusts, and power of attorney documents to ensure your wishes are respected.

LGBTQ+-Friendly Communities

Research for LGBTQ+-friendly senior living facilities for proper care. You can also plan your retirement in established LGBTQ+ community areas to benefit from supportive social networks.

Tips for a Comfortable Retirement

  • Consider downsizing to a smaller manageable house to free up most of your income from extra expenses.
  • Create a realistic retirement budget, factoring in healthcare costs, living expenses, emergencies, and desired lifestyle activities.
  • Explore diversifying your income through part-time employment, generating passive income by investing, monetizing your skills or expertise, or opening a small business.

Start Securing Your Future Today

Retirement planning is essential for everyone, but for LGBTQ+ individuals, it requires a proactive approach because of the prevalent challenges. Although the community enjoys some relief from the great strides achieved through advocacy and the ratification of inclusive laws, there is still much ground to be covered. You can leverage some of the positive changes to secure your retirement by adopting smart financial habits like saving, multiplying your income streams, and insuring your health. 

To learn more, contact your Barnum representative today. Don’t have one? Click to get a complimentary financial assessment.

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