British LGBTIs are paying 20% more for their retirement to avoid leaving their friends and community behind.
And Londoners are paying 61% more to retire.
New LGBTI company Equality Wealth Management uncovered the shocking figures while researching why LGBTI people are so unprepared for retirement.
LGBT retirement premium
Paul Thompson of Equality Wealth Management told Gay Star News: ‘LGBTI people often want or need to retire to more expensive cities so they are not cut off from friends, the community and vital services.
‘Most people haven’t thought about this “LGBT retirement premium”.
‘Many LGBTIs do not plan adequately for retirement. So this extra cost is a ticking time-bomb for thousands of us.’
The extra cost of living in the most popular cities for British LGBTI elders is:
- Brighton +23%
- Bournemouth +13%
- Bristol +15%
- Cambridge +22%
- Edinburgh +11%
- Oxford +28%
- London +61%
Equality Wealth Management therefore estimate the average ‘LGBT retirement premium’ to be 20% above the national average for cities.
Thompson told GSN: ‘This is a conservative estimate. It would be even higher if London was included in the average.
‘We also compared the most popular cities with LGBTI older people to other cities. If you retire to the countryside the costs are even lower. But there are so few services in rural areas that understand the needs of LGBTIs, that simply isn’t an option for lots of us.’
Why aren’t we preparing to retire?
Gay financial adviser Malcolm Cuthbert of Equality Wealth Management warns the problem is far worse because LGBTIs aren’t preparing for retirement.
He told us: ‘The traditional heterosexual life cycle encourages straight people to plan their finances.
‘Events like getting married and having kids are when people tend to act.
‘But many LGBT couples do not have a formal partnership or marriage and lack legal protection.
‘And many of us, particularly the older generation, feel uncomfortable discussing our private lives and relationships with strangers.
‘Pretty much all the marketing ever for retirement planning has been squarely targeted at straight people. So it’s no wonder we feel it’s not for us.’
He argues traditional financial advisers don’t understand LGBTI lives. And he says they often fail to take the time to discuss the issues with their gay clients and encourage them to plan for themselves, their partners and their families.
Poll: Have you planned for your retirement?
How is Equality Wealth Management helping?
Equality Wealth Management hopes to improve financial planning for the whole LGBTI community. They are hiring experts across the country who you can meet for one-to-one advice.
And they are holding an event at Digital Pride on 24 April at Eight Bank to raise the profile of the issue.
You can sign up to be part of the live audience in central London using the form here. Or use the same form to sign up to watch it live online.
Here are the details of the event:
Monday, 24 April
7:30pm – 10pm
1 Change Alley London, EC3V 3ND
Thompson told us: ‘There is a generation of people approaching retirement who lived for a long time in the closet and did not expect the open lifestyle that’s possible today.
‘Financial advice specialists have failed them. Traditional experts don’t understand their specific needs. And they don’t offer products and services which are right for them.
‘Far more openly gay, bi and trans people will retire in the coming years.
‘So we’ve got to act now to stop this becoming a crisis for our community.’
If you want more information on the financial issues facing the LGBTI community or to speak to an Equality Wealth Management partner advisor, visit their site to find out more.
Gay Star News runs Digital Pride. Equality Wealth Management is a Gay Star News client.