The LGBTQ+ community sees their personal financial security diminish

(Photo: 9nong/AdobeStock)

Personal finance is not a static issue and not everyone defines it uniformly. A good example is the LGBTQ+ community’s perspective on their finances. A new National study shows that LGTQ+ Americans are, in fact, less likely than the general public to have a positive view of their personal financial situation.

Baby boomers seem to be the only majority to rate their personal financial situation as good or excellent. But the LGBTQ+ community is falling behind in their personal financial security. Twenty-five percent of the general population say they somewhat or strongly disagree that they have control over their finances on a day-to-day or month-to-month basis. The LGBTQ+ community has a higher percentage at 29%.

LGBTQ+ sentiment is higher on the negative side across all survey questions, including ability to absorb unexpected expenses, financial freedom to make choices, confidence to save for retirement, ‘achieve financial goals, feel secure and live paycheck to paycheck,

Financial literacy is also at lower levels. However, the financial goals of the wider community and the LGBTQ+ community are relatively the same. At the top of the list are planning for retirement, saving for experiences, paying off debt, saving for major expenses, and saving for essentials. The biggest financial challenge for both groups is inflation or rising cost of living (47% general population, 43% LGBTQ+), cost of housing (28% general population, 25% LGBTQ+) , and the third biggest challenge is the lack of savings for unexpected emergencies (27% general population, 32% LGBTQ+).

The report notes that the LGBTQ+ community faces unique financial challenges and many experience career limitations related to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

Seven in 10 say they would feel more comfortable working with a financial advisor who is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community or a vocal ally. Sixty-six percent say they face unique challenges that most non-LGBTQ+ people don’t, and 63% say they think most financial advisors/planners don’t understand the unique financial challenges of the community.

When asked what would benefit LGBTQ+ Americans the most when it comes to personal finances and planning, 41% said improved benefits for unmarried partners, 34% said increased representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the financial services industry and 34% reported increased awareness of LGBTQ+ bias and discrimination in financial services.

The Nationwide survey surveyed 1,000 people from the general US population and 1,000 people from the LGBTQ+ community between April 22 and April 28, 2022.

Sarah J. Greer