Life still financially riskier for same-sex couples
LGBTI couples have to be even more on the ball than their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to taking charge of their finances
Every family worries about money in its own way, but LGBTI families still have special reasons to be concerned.
Two women married to each other, for example, must plan for more expensive retirements than other couples, UBS said on Monday in a report. Because women live longer than men, the bank calculates that in the US one or both members of a female same-sex couple at age 45 are 50% more likely to live to 100 than heterosexual couples.
Same-sex female couples are two to three times more likely to reach 100 than one or both members of a 45-year-old same-sex male couple.
"One major consideration of day-to-day financial planning concerns emergency funds," Zurich-based UBS said in the report. That’s because there are no anti-discrimination laws for LGBTI workers in 30 US states and in much of the rest of the world, including Singapore and Hong Kong. LGBTI employees "may face higher job risk than heterosexual employees," UBS said.
Only a little more than half of LGBTI workers in the US said they were comfortable being out at work, according to a survey by Human Rights Campaign released in June. The number has barely budged in a decade.
Other financial risks for LGBTI couples can vary based on where they live. In Singapore or Hong Kong, for example, widows or widowers generally are not eligible to inherit their same-sex partners’ pension or welfare benefits. That is less of a concern in places that legally recognise same-sex marriage like the US and UK. In Switzerland, meanwhile, same-sex couples cannot legally marry but are eligible to inherit pensions.
For LGBTI couples and their financial advisers, a lot hinges on getting the details right. Depending on where they live, LGBTI "investors may have to pay particular attention to having wills, advance-care directives or trusts in place to ensure that their end-of-life and legal wishes are met," UBS said.