09:30 AM

LGBTQ+ Community Falling Behind on Financial Security

New study: Only half of LGBTQ+ individuals report feeling confident in their ability to save for retirement

Columbus, OH – LGBTQ+ Americans are less likely to be on track to meet their financial goals, have the capacity to absorb unexpected expenses, or feel confident in their ability to save for retirement compared to the general population, according to a new Nationwide Retirement Institute survey. Almost two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Americans report living paycheck to paycheck most of the time. That figure jumps to 72% for Black LGBTQ+ members.

LGBTQ+ survey respondents indicated they were less knowledgeable than the general population about important financial topics, including retirement planning (by 13%), estate planning (12%), and investing in the stock market (8%).

“As consumers face rising inflation, ballooning gas prices, soaring housing costs, and more, accessing sound and personalized financial advice becomes more important,” said Rona Guymon, Senior Vice President of Annuity Distribution at Nationwide Financial. “That’s especially true for LBGTQ+ individuals, who may face additional challenges that take a toll on their finances.”

Meeting the needs of the LGBTQ+ community
Two-thirds of LGBTQ+ Americans report they face unique financial challenges that most non-LGBTQ+ people do not.

  • More than a third (37%) report that their career has been negatively impacted due to gender identity or sexual orientation and nearly half (46%) say that their opportunities for career advancement have been negatively impacted due to gender identity or sexual orientation. These challenges negatively impact LGBTQ+ individuals earnings potential, a problem that then compounds as they age.
  • More than half (56%) believe that LGBTQ+ people experience higher healthcare and health insurance costs than non-LGBTQ+ people.
  • Roughly half of LGBTQ+ Americans feel saving to start a family (52%) and finding housing (47%) are more difficult for them compared to non-LGBTQ+ people.

How the financial services industry can better serve the LGBTQ+ community
Seven out of 10 LGBTQ+ Americans report they would feel more comfortable with an advisor or financial professional who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community (or a vocal ally). Fewer than four in ten (37%) feel that financial advisors understand their unique challenges, highlighting a major opportunity for advisors to better meet their needs.

To better support them in their personal finances and financial planning, LGBTQ+ members want to see:

  • Improved benefits for unmarried partners (41%).
  • Boomers are most likely to report that improved benefits for unmarried partners would be most beneficial (52%).
  • Increased representation of their community in the financial services profession (34%)
  • More awareness of bias and discrimination impacting the LGBTQ+ community in the financial services industry (34%).

The top financial goals for the LGBTQ+ community are saving for experiences such as travel and hobbies, paying off debt, and saving for retirement, in that order.

“The first step and most important way advisors and financial professionals can better serve the LGBTQ+ community is to understand their unique challenges and concerns,” said Guymon. “There are lessons we can all draw from this survey to better meet the needs of this community and many others.”

Nationwide created this resource to help advisors and financial professionals understand the needs of LGBTQ+ clients.

“Members of the LGBTQ+ community should seek out self-identified LGBTQ+ advisors or financial professionals or those who are vocal and visible allies,” Guymon added. “Look for financial professionals participating in the local Pride Parade or festival – or ask for referrals from others in the community to identify those who have a strong track record serving LGBTQ+ clients. You can also visit letsmakeaplan.org to search for an advisor with an LGBTQ+ client focus in your area.”

Edelman Data and Intelligence (DxI) conducted an online survey of 1,000 nationally representative adult U.S. consumers and 1,000 members of the LGBTQ+ community on behalf of Nationwide. The survey was fielded from April 22 through April 28, 2022 and has an overall margin of error of ±3% at the 95% confidence level.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities, mutual funds and ETFs; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.