Budgeting for Housing, Healthcare and Marriage Shouldn’t Be Scary
By Vera Lukacs
LGBTQ+ older adults have unique financial concerns. Not only are they faced with economic uncertainty, but they face discrimination in housing and healthcare, and the prospect of marriage is still new for many. How can LGBTQ+ older adults budget better for basic necessities? This question is important, considering that over 25 million older adults (60+) are living in poverty. Contrary to popular belief, planning and budgeting can be a positive experience! It can be tough to think about, but it’s worth doing when you have the chance to prepare and get a step ahead. Not sure where to start? Check out this LGBTQ+ Financial Planning Guide.
Budgeting for healthcare in later years is incredibly important. LGBTQ+ older adults have a vast amount of needs that their heterosexual counterparts don’t even think about. But first, a significant factor in this process is LGBTQ+ elders need to feel comfortable sharing who they are with their healthcare providers. For transgender people seeking hormone treatments and surgeries or those with HIV, finding a provider can be a scary process. GLMA has a provider directory to help people find LGBTQ+-competent healthcare providers.
LGBTQ+ older adults often struggle to find affordable and safe housing. Many don’t have the economic security to invest in long term care facilities, and many are denied housing simply for being who they are. Nearly half of older same-sex couples experienced at least one form of differential treatment when inquiring about housing in a long-term care facility. SAGE launched the National LGBTQ+ Elder Housing Initiative to address these issues.
What does marriage equality mean for LGBTQ+ couples? See our new toolkit, Talk Before You Walk: Considerations for LGBTQ+ Older Couples Before Getting Married. Getting married is about more than bringing two individuals together. Marriage provides a number of benefits, rights, and protections. With these rights comes the sharing of financial liabilities. To ensure a secured household, talk with your partner before you walk!
Appointing a power of attorney can come in handy in an emergency. In the event that an LGBTQ+ older adult is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make sound decisions, a power of attorney can allow a trusted loved one to step in and decide on their behalf. For more information on planning your last wishes, see our blog Financial Literacy: Tips and Tricks for LGBTQ+ Elders!
Vera Lukacs is a digital media assistant at SAGE. April is Financial Literacy Month. What do you need to know as an LGBTQ+ older adult? Follow the SAGE blog this month for more!