Addressing LGBTQ Adults’ Concerns About Aging
According to a new AARP national survey, many LGBTQ adults age 45 and over have concerns about aging. Their top concerns: having enough money in retirement, discrimination, and a lack of family support.
Here are a few key findings from the survey:
- 49% of LGBTQ survey participants were either extremely or very concerned about having enough family and social supports to rely on as they age.
- 52% reported being socially isolated.
- Most gay men reported that they are less likely to be married, less likely to have children or grandchildren and more likely to live alone, which could put them at greater risk of becoming isolated as they age.
- Almost two-thirds of the lesbian women in the research said they have a child or grandchild, compared to less than one-third of gay men.
“The realities of older LGBTQ adults are often invisible, but our research shows they are clearly worried about aging with dignity, especially when it comes to finances, discrimination and family and social support,” said Cassandra Cantave, AARP senior research advisor. “It’s critical that we as a society address the unique challenges and disparities that older LGBTQ adults face so they can thrive throughout their lives.”
In addition to family and social supports, LGBTQ adults also reported concerns about their financial security as they age. Most respondents (85%) are at least somewhat concerned about having enough income or savings to retire, with highest concern among those who are age 45 to 54, Black, and transgender and nonbinary participants.
While two-thirds of participants indicated they are in at least good financial health, 35% evaluated their financial situation as fair or poor.
Older adults across all segments of the LGBTQ community have anxiety over discrimination and the negative impact it may have on them as they age. Most (85%) are at least somewhat concerned about sexual discrimination, while transgender and nonbinary adults are more worried with gender (86%) and gender identity (72%) discrimination.
Aging presents challenges for everyone, but we see first-hand these additional stressors among our LGBTQ+ clients. Isolation, lack of a support network, and financial concerns shouldn’t keep anyone from aging well. We help our clients plan for the future based on their budgets and needs. From finding services you need to ensuring your end-of-life wishes are followed and a range of services in between, we are your advocates in aging well.
“Even if they aren’t of retirement age yet, all of our clients value having someone they trust to honor them and their wishes,” said Kate Granigan, CEO of LifeCare Advocates. Please feel free to contact us to find out how we can help you.
AARP’s national survey, “Dignity 2022: The Experience of LGBTQ Older Adults,” was conducted online in November 2021. AARP offers resources on aging for the LGBTQ community, including a guide to caregiving (PDF). Find more at AARP.org/pride.