The Yellow Brick Road to Financial Freedom: Retirement Planning Ideas for the LGBTQ+ Community
3 minute read
While Sir Elton John’s Yellow Brick Road Farewell tour in North America may have ended, he is nowhere near retirement. His next act – focusing on his foundation, spending time with his family, and new creative music projects – highlights how retirement looks very different today. As the presenting sponsor, The Alliance for Lifetime Income, found a great partner to help educate the LGTBQ+ community on retirement security. As Sir Elton said, “The Alliance’s social mission aligns with many of my own interests, especially my commitment to diversity and economic equality for all.”
WATCH Your Money Map: RETIREMENT PLANNING IDEAS FOR THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY
Many colors in the rainbow
The LGTBQ+ community is not one size fits when it comes to money. First, the good news – over the last five years, there has been an increase in the size of the affluent segment (household income of $125,000+) in the LGBTQ+ community of around 76%, compared to 53% growth for the affluent general population (Ipsos Affluent Study 2015-2020, 2020). But now the bad news – LGBTQ+ workers median earnings were about 90% of what the typical worker earns in the United States. And about one in five (22%) LGTBQ+ live in poverty, compared to an estimated 16% of their straight and cisgender counterparts. Poverty rates of transgender adults (29%) and cisgender bisexual women (29%) in the U.S. tower over those of other groups. Furthermore, Black (40%) and Latinx (45%) transgender adults are more likely to live in poverty than transgender people of any other race (Human Rights Campaign The Wage Gap Among LGTBQ+ Workers in the United States 2021).
There is also what David Rae, a Certified Financial Planner and Founder of DRM Wealth Management LLC, calls the “Gay Tax.” “Many LGTBQ+ people feel the need to be among diverse and open communities which can mean living in expensive parts of town or the country, which means an expensive lifestyle. This makes it harder for LGBTQ+ individuals to participate in wealth-building activities like properly funding retirement accounts, buying homes, and investing for the future.”
I am delighted that the Alliance for Lifetime Income is my tour’s Presenting Partner. The Alliance’s social mission aligns with many of my own interests, especially my commitment to diversity and economic equality for all.
Live a glamorous queer life while still planning for the future
By 2030, there will be 5 million LGBTQ+ elders over 65 in the U.S., and they are twice as likely to live alone and four times as likely to be childless compared to the general population. Many are also estranged from their birth families due to family members’ unwillingness to accept their identity (SAGE LGTBQ+ elders age their way, but can they age at home? 2022). Health concerns are also top of mind according to David Rae — “My LGTBQ+ clients fear discrimination within elder care facilities, both from residents and staff. These issues can be even more problematic for the transgender community and those living with HIV. I’ve spoken with many gay and lesbian seniors who have essentially gone back into the closet in their retirement communities.”
Working with a Financial Professional who understands the different needs of LGTBQ+ folks or, at the very least, is LGTBQ+ “friendly” is critical to facing these concerns and planning for your future. They can help you understand how much income you need to cover your essential monthly expenses and identify where your protected income is coming from – social security, a pension, or an annuity. For the latest ideas, simple tools and guides, and inspiring stories to help you navigate your next chapter in life, head to protectedincome.org.
Where to Find a Financial Professional Committed to LGTBQ+:
- The Certified Financial Planning Board (CFP) lists 1,600+ who self-identify as LGTBQ+ FPs and of these, 600+ also focus on retirement and retirement income planning.
- Financial Planning Association, which has a filter for non-traditional households.
- The National LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the local Pink Pages, and your local LGBTQ+ chamber of commerce.
- Avantax (formerly GuideVine) has a filter for LGBTQ-friendly advisors.
Background on Guest
David Rae, Certified Financial Planner™, Accredited Investment Fiduciary™, and President / Founder of DRM Wealth Management LLC, helping you make smarter financial decisions and positioning yourself for prosperity. Working with a wide diversity of clients for well over a decade, he has built a successful career developing comprehensive financial plans to meet life goals, retirement, tax planning, estate issues, portfolio revision, life insurance, portfolio management, business exit strategies, and more. While based in Los Angeles, he serves clients across the country. At the same time, he enjoys a solid reputation as a smart, go-to financial guy for both mainstream and LGBT print, broadcast, and online media.