Same-Gender Households Are Successful Savers

Same-gender couples with children are emerging leaders when it comes to family financial stability and successful long-term planning, according to a new analysis from financial services provider Allianz.

Findings from the Allianz “LoveFamilyMoney Study” suggest nearly four in 10 (37%) same-gender family couples with kids reported feeling a high level of financial security—just a few points below opposite-gender couples (41%). In the study, same-gender couple families were the only modern family type that included respondents with and without kids because of their developing and unprecedented family structure, Allianz researchers explain.

The research identifies seven distinct family types, including the “traditional family” and six other modern family cohorts:

  • Traditional Families – ­­Married couples of the opposite gender with at least one child younger than 21 living at home who do not meet the other modern family cohorts’ criteria.
  • Multi-Generational Families – Three or more generations living in the same household.
  • Single-Parent Families – One unmarried adult with at least one child younger than 18.
  • Same-Sex Couple Families – Married or unmarried couples living together with a member of the same gender.
  • SameSex Couple Families with Kids – Representing about 35% of the same-gender couple family cohort, married or unmarried couples living together with a member of the same gender and with at least one child in the household.
  • Blended Families – Parents who are married or living together with a stepchild and/or child from a previous relationship.
  • Older Parent with Young Children Families – Parents age 40 or older with at least one child younger than five in the household.
  • Boomerang Families – Parents with an adult child ages 21 to 35 who left and later returned to rejoin the family.

Asked to describe their current financial situation, about half of same-sex couple families with kids (50%) and traditional families (52%) described themselves as either “wealthy/affluent” or “financially comfortable.” This was much higher than all other modern family types, the study shows. In addition, same-sex couple families with kids and traditional families report having lower levels of debt than other modern families.

An equal proportion of same-sex couple families with kids (22%) reported having no debt (not including mortgages) as traditional families. In contrast, only 16% of other modern family types reported having no debt.

“When it comes to managing family finances, the study reveales that same-sex couple families, which combine those couples with and without kids, have more in common with traditional families than any other modern family type,” explains Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of consumer insights. “The financial services industry should take note that same-sex couple families are the most financially prepared type of modern family.”

Perhaps one reason for same-sex couple family financial success is their open and honest attitude toward discussing money, researchers say. Same-sex couple families with kids were more likely to report that it is easy to discuss family finances with their spouse or significant other (87%) compared with other modern family types (82%). Significantly more same-sex couple families with kids describe their family as able to adapt to change (89%) when compared with both traditional families (80%) and other modern family types (81%). In addition, when same-sex couple families with kids compare their current family to the one they grew up with, their current family is less sheltered (33%) compared to traditional families (24%), Allianz says.

The study found same-sex couple families with kids are unique in their approach to managing finances. A strong majority of traditional families fully combine their finances (80%), while significantly fewer (60%) same-sex couple families with kids fully combine them. More same-sex couple family members with kids keep their individual finances either partially separate (22%) compared with traditional families (15%) or completely separate (18%) compared with traditional families (5%). 

The Allianz study also shows while same-sex couple families overall are ahead of the game when it comes to their financial success, having children greatly affects them. Compared to the overall same-sex couple family cohort who saved an average of $276,200 for retirement, same-sex couple families with kids have considerably less, reporting an average savings of $210,700. And yet, same-sex couple families are still the most successful modern family savers compared to other modern family types, who report having an average of $186,000 saved.

The story is similar when comparing family debt, Allianz says. Fewer same-sex couple families with kids (22%) report zero debt compared to same-sex couple families overall (24%), but they are still aligned with traditional families (22%) reporting no debt.

“Like any other family type, adding children to the equation takes a toll on the family financial landscape,” Libbe says. “This is one key area where financial professionals can help.”

The Allianz study suggests same-sex couple families with and without kids are very open to working with a financial professional. Nearly half (48%) say they currently have a financial professional or have used one in the past, which is slightly less than the 53% of traditional families who report the same, but higher compared to 44% of other modern family types.

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