Thinking about retirement? All the trips to the gym and eating salads have finally paid off! You can look forward and plan towards your retirement days with your special someone! Gay Retirement can be seen as living an "openly gay way of life". You may be wondering, how realistic is this, what can influence it and possibly for you, uncomfortably, into the closet? A simple phrase sums it up: A lack of Financial Planning!!
Same sex couples have additional challenges to typical straight married couples in retirement. In many cases, same sex couples aren't married, and for those who are, many countries don't provide the same level of protection or support in law that straight couples enjoy.
In the USA where same sex couples are recognised in some States, some of those same States have DOMA (Defence of the Marriage Act) that prevent same sex couples obtaining certain federally funded benefits e.g. tax-exemptions and healthcare. Straight married couples' ability to transfer wealth to their spouse free of Inheritance Tax is also not usually applicable to same sex couples, even, in some circumstances, when they are married.
Worse still is the kind of dangerous isolation / exclusion when your partner passes away, as most don't have children or spouses to help with care. Even with a partner, as their health declines, they are forced to cope with extra burdens straight counter-parts do not have. You have probably heard the stories where gay persons needing care in retirement are forced back into the closet, as their retirement home won't accept or acknowledge being gay. It may be significantly more complicated for a Transgender person, as it may not be as simple as going back into the closet. Documentary made about this issue: http://stumaddux.com/GEN_SILENT.html. Where you retire to / live can impact you considerably, many gay couples want to live in a LGBT retirement resort or friendly environment. The last thing you want is to find out, when it is too late when you are older, that you are living next door to a gay phobic man in the middle of Manchester or similar.
Most, if not all, of this can be avoided with sensible financial planning and the use of tools such as Wills and Trusts (especially for Inheritance Tax and Wealth transfer issues). A key issue is to ensure you have enough time to save for your retirement. Gay Retirement will usually cost a bit more than "straight retirement" due to preferred living locations such as LGBT resorts and a lack of government benefits; however, the average LGBT person has additional disposable income during their working life, as a result of not having to pay for the cost of raising children.
So the key is to plan for your Gay Retirement sooner than later (average person will need at least 25 years to build enough wealth), and avoid the mistake of "failing to plan" or putting it off until tomorrow.
Key issues for a gay retirement:
- What are my retirement goals? E.g. where do I want to retire, what level of income
- Will my balance sheet be enough to afford my chosen retirement lifestyle?
- What government or third party support can I expect in my old age?
- How do I ensure my assets are passed onto the charities or people I desire, considering the lack of legal security heterosexual couples enjoy?
LGBT Wealth is proud to be Asia's first specialist financial advisory firm focused on the LGBT Community. LGBT Wealth is designed to provide a safe, confidential place for LGBT individuals to discuss their financial situation and aspirations with advisers who not only understand their needs but have specialist knowledge in areas like partner protection, LGBT retirement and property purchase.
Nothing in this article or website constitutes an offer or solicitation of financial product advice and is not intended to constitute provision of investment, legal, tax, or other professional or financial advice. Such content therefore should not be relied upon for the making of any personal financial and investment decisions. Persons accessing this information are strongly encouraged to obtain appropriate professional advice before making any investment or financial decision.