Middle-income earning LGBTQ Americans report more financial struggles—and less overall financial security—than other U.S. residents, according to recent research from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., also known as MassMutual. Just under half say they don’t feel financially secure and 60 percent worry daily about their household’s financial situation.
According to Wonhong Lee, Head of Diverse Markets at MassMutual, 47 percent of middle-income earning LGBTQ Americans “feel less than financially secure” and “many often struggle with financial emergencies.”
“Overall,” Lee said, “LGBTQ individuals tend to worry more about finances and are impacted more negatively by their finances than other Middle Americans. For instance, 60 percent of LGBTQ individuals report often worrying every day about their household’s financial situation, compare to 53 percent of the general population.”
These financial concerns are also more likely to impact LGBTQ Americans’ health and daily lives. Sixty-five percent said worries about money impact their mental health and stress levels, 45 percent said it impacts their social life, diet, and ability to eat healthily, 30 percent said it impacts the frequency and quality of their family’s medical care, and 28 percent said it affects their marriage or romantic relationship. Another 19 percent said money concerns even impact their ability to perform their job.
LGBTQ Americans are also further behind on saving for retirement (70 percent say they’re behind versus 63 percent of the general population), and they are more likely to worry about the overall direction of the country, according to MassMutual’s research. Eighty percent say the nation’s trajectory is a concern compared to just 66 percent of the general population.
“LGBTQ middle Americans are also more likely to be worried that changes to the healthcare system could cause a loss of coverage for them or a loved one,” MassMutual reported.
On the other hand, the LGBTQ community placed value on living in the moment—36 percent said, “spending money to enjoy myself now is more important than saving for the future,” compared to 27 percent of the general population.
This gap in ethos is not limited to just the financial industry; the mortgage industry has long strived to be sensitive to the differing needs of the diverse communities it serves. As Lee puts it:
“There are many different types of households and families in America. Both our challenge, and our opportunity, is to better understand how we can help all types of households…”