By Neal Broverman
Originally published on Advocate.com March 04 2013 10:50 PM ET
A new survey from Wells Fargo found that LGBT people are more optimistic about the economy than the general public, but also confused about how current law affects their retirement savings.
Polling over 1,100 adults and over 600 specific LGBT adults in November and early December, Wells Fargo found that 66% of LGBT pople are optimistic about the political direction of the country (compared to 43% of the general population) and 74% of LGBT respondents expect a stronger economy in the next two years (47% of the general public feels the same way).
Compared to their straight peers, LGBT adults are making more in-roads toward retirement savings. They report higher median net savings than the overal population, especially gay men, and 55% of all LGBT people report having a detailed retirement savings plan in place. Forty-two percent of LGBT respondents are more likely to have developed plans with a paid professional financial advisor and 22% also used web-based tools and calculators to assist with this plan, compared to 10% of all adults.
While all this sounds good, the patchwork condition of laws affecting same-sex relationships leads to uncertainty. Forty-four percent of LGBT respondents didn't know social security income and benefits are not transferable to their spouse or partner (since federal law doesn't recognize their marriage, in the latter circumstance). More than half of LGBT respondents incorrectly answered that benefits like real estate, life insurance, and retirement savings may be transferable depending on the state they reside in. "Similarily, only 36% of LGBT adults know that federal taxes on survivor assets or benefits are different for the spouse/partner in a same-sex marriage than in a heterosexual marriage," according to Wells Fargo, which offers an Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor program to guide same-sex couple through their tax, savings, and retirement questions.