MetLife actually did a study on the LGBT community and their retirement needs. I'm happy to see such companies are highlighting the issues that the community is faced with. It's also very interesting reading. It's no surprise that considering the historical struggles of the community that the study revealed that "Friends Mean a Lot and Serve As Family". Nearly two-thirds (64%) of LGBT Boomers agree they have a “chosen family,” defined by the survey as “a group of people to whom you are emotionally close and consider ‘family’ even though you are not biologically or legally related." Thus, planning for is critical for the LGBT community. Planning? Yes, planning for retirement, end of life care, long term healthcare, funeral arrangements, and in some instances, visitation while you're in the hospital. As the study also points out, the community with a "chosen family" still do not have the proper documents in place that entrust their chosen family members with the ability to make decisions about their healthcare or finances on their behalf. Without these documents (will, medical power of attorney, general durable power of attorney, living will), your chosen family including your life partner CANNOT make decisions for you regarding your care nor can they provide companionship at your bedside if you are in critical condition. Instead, it will be your next of kin (mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin, etc.) talking with doctors, making decisions, and holding vigil while those closest to you wait in the hall. The decision belongs to you, don't let it slip away.
Still Out, Still Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Baby Boomers
LGBT Baby Boomers have withstood many years of discrimination, and say their approach to retirement and aging has been shaped by these experiences. In conjunction with the study is the publication Planning Tips for LGBT Individuals and Couples which offers guidance and advice in the areas of legacy planning, employee benefits, health care, financial and retirement planning. Read more.