Survey: LGBT investors more confident about retirement savings

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender investors face the same challenges as everyone else when it comes to saving for retirement, but they report a higher level of confidence in their retirement savings, compared to the general population.

A new survey by Wells Fargo found that 61 percent of LGBT non-retirees were confident they had enough saved up for retirement to live the lifestyle they wanted throughout retirement, compared to 53 percent of the general population who held the same belief.

Despite their confidence, over one-third, or 36 percent, of LGBT non-retirees expect they will need to work during retirement to pay for their retirement, compared to 41 percent of the general population.

The survey asked LGBT individuals if they had heard of the Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor program, which was created through a partnership with the College for Financial Planning to educate advisors about the unique needs and financial considerations of domestic partners. One in 10 respondents said they had heard of the program. After hearing about the program, 60 percent of gay men and 72 percent of lesbians said these credentials were important to them in working with a financial advisor.

“Each investor has different priorities, needs, and life goals, and domestic partners and same-sex couples often have added concerns and questions about their unique financial situation,” said Kyle Young, financial advisor and vice president, investment officer for Wells Fargo Advisors. “It’s especially important for LGBT investors to find financial advisors who are acutely aware of the challenges, laws, and regulations that impact their investment planning needs. This additional knowledge affords clients encouragement in knowing that their needs will be heard, understood, and thoughtfully explored.”

The median amount LGBT non-retirees have saved for retirement is only 17 percent of what they believe they actually need. LGBT non-retirees believe they will need to save at least $900,000 to retire, and have saved an average of $150,000. Sixty-two percent of non-retired LGBT’s surveyed have not increased their retirement savings allocation in the past year.

More than half of all LGBT respondents, 54 percent, cite being recognized as equal citizens by society and the law as the most important reason for legalizing gay marriage. One in five, or 19 percent, say that having legal rights and medical decision-making on behalf of one’s partner is most important. Only 7 percent said legalizing gay marriage was not important to them.

Richard Day Research conducted the survey on behalf of Wells Fargo Retirement. The online survey was conducted between Dec. 2 and Dec. 18, 2011, among adults, ages 25 to 75, who identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.


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