LGBTQ Americans show high level of retirement anxiety

A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveals that LGBTQ Americans feel less secure about living a comfortable retirement

Americans who belong to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) communities report much lower confidence in their ability to adequately retire, compounding issues such communities already face in terms of income and health statuses. This is according to the Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) as compiled by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

The 2022 version of the RCS deliberately included an oversample of people identifying with such communities in order to more effectively gauge the challenges that LGBTQ workers and retirees face in preparing for and living in retirement, especially in comparison with the broader population.

“The demographic profiles and composition of the LGBTQ population in the United States differs from those of the overall population,” the study reads. “LGBTQ Americans are more likely to have lower incomes and assets, be younger, and have lower health statuses. This is a critically important consideration as financial resources (income and assets) have historically had a clear correlation to retirement confidence and responses to many other RCS metrics.”

In each measured income group, LGBTQ Americans are “less likely to be confident in having enough to live comfortably throughout retirement,” according to the survey’s results. This is even apparent in the highest income group surveyed, since 89% of non-LGBTQ respondents report general confidence in retirement preparedness compared to 76% of LGBTQ respondents in the same income bracket.

This is also true for LGBTQ Americans when it comes to the impact of debt on their lives, since they view debt as having a larger impact on the financial stability of their households when compared to non-LGBTQ respondents in every measured income bracket.

“In the upper-income group, 64% of LGBTQ Americans consider debt a problem versus 39% of non-LGBTQ Americans,” the results read. “As a result, LGBTQ Americans are more likely to say debt is impacting their ability to save for retirement or emergencies.”

Additionally, low- and middle-income LGBTQ respondents were less likely to agree that they are “knowledgeable about managing their day-to-day finances” when directly compared to non-LGBTQ respondents. They were also more likely to report that saving for retirement is not as much of a financial priority in comparison to non-LGBTQ Americans because of existing financial burdens and obligations.

Read the survey results at EBRI.

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