LGBT Boomers Cite Additional Retirement Fears

In addition to the financial concerns of retirement, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Baby Boomers have fears of discrimination and dependency on others for care, according to a new study.

The study “Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Baby Boomers,” conducted by The MetLife Mature Market Institute with the American Society on Aging (ASA) and its constituent group, the LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN), revealed members of the LGBT group are more likely to say they will be at least 70 before they can retire (48% compared with 40% in the general population). Only a quarter or fewer in the LGBT group say they have saved what they need to live in retirement.      

The study, which polled 1,200 LGBT individuals and 1,200 people from the general population, ages 45 to 64, also found 60% of LGBT Boomers fear being unable to care for themselves as they age; 35% fear becoming dependent on others; and 10% fear discrimination as they age. However, while LGBT Boomers continue to fear discrimination, 55% of the LGBT sample say they have total or near total confidence that they will be treated with dignity and respect, compared with 39% of the comparison group.     

A higher percentage of LGBT Boomers have completed living wills, health care proxies, rights of visitation, and partnership agreements, compared with the general population. Though both populations are likely to discuss end-of-life issues with their partners/spouses, LGBT Boomers have many more of those discussions with siblings, parents, and other relatives.      

Members of the general population are more likely to be in a relationship than those in the LGBT sample, 77% vs. 61%. However, nearly two thirds of LGBT Boomers say they have a “chosen family,” a group of people they consider family, even though they are not legally or biologically related.  
In conjunction with the study, the MetLife Mature Market Institute and SAGE, a non-profit agency dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender older adults, has produced “Planning Tips for LGBT Individuals and Couples,” a consumer checklist to ensure that people have the necessary documents for financial, retirement, estate issues, available here.