Survey: LGBT retirees have almost a third more in the bank than the overall US population

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On average, people from the LGBT community had set aside more money ahead of retirement, and expected to need more money in retirement than the overall population, a study has shown.

A survey released earlier this year by Wells Fargo found that the median LGBT retiree had saved $450,000 (£278,000), compared with a national sample of retirees who had on average $350,000 (£217,000), reported MSN Money.

The difference in the expected amount required was even bigger, with LGBT retirees expecting to need $800,000 (£496,000) for retirement, compared to just $500,000 (£310,000) expected to be required by the national sample.

Several factors, including traditional family situations, and lifestyle choices effected these figures. Certified financial planner with Wells Fargo, Kyle Young, said:

“Clients within the LGBT community tend to be higher earners and tend to be more career-oriented.”

He said that traditionally LGBT people had smaller families, and often no children and said “they can concentrate more on advanced degrees and on their careers.”

“We don’t have the extended-family network to depend upon for later-life care,” he said.

He went on to say that LGBT people generally had more time to travel, and take leisure time, and that lower family costs could make it easier for those people to save for retirement, however could cost more during retirement, as caregiving costs could be higher, with less family around to take on the responsibility.

The study found that, out of LGBT investors, who on average expect to need $900,000 (£558,000) during retirement, they had only around $150,000 (£93,000) saved, but were more optimistic compared to the national sample.

61% of unretired LGBT investors thought they would reach their retirement target compared to 53% overall, and only 36% of investors thought they would need to work during their retirement, compared to 41% of all investors surveyed.

Issues surrounding the potential repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, could intensify the focus on LGBT finances, particularly to do with tax and other benefits currently only available to married heterosexual couples.

However, the Wells Fargo survey found that most LGBT people primarily wanted to legalise same-sex marriage out of a desire for equality, rather than for financial reasons.