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Planning for a 100-year life as an LGBTQ+ individual

Planning for a 100-year life as an LGBTQ+ individual

September 2023

Our financial guru Kath Wilkinson has written an insighful piece into some of the challenges most of us will face as we age. 

At a glance

Living longer than ever before requires careful financial planning. And for LGBTQ+ people, who are likely to face different financial situations throughout their lives, it’s crucial to consider how your money will stretch into later life.

LGBTQ+ people may also face other costs, such as expensive fertility treatments in order to start a family or gender reassignment surgery.

Financial situations will vary across the LGBTQ+ community, but expert financial advice from an adviser who understands the issues you’re facing can help.

We’re all living longer lives. An estimated one in five girls and one in seven boys born in 2020 will see their 100th birthday (1). Even those of us aged 40 now are expected to live to 87 for women and 84 for men (2).

While this is cause for optimism, living such long lives also comes with challenges. Many of us will need care, a considerable cost given that care-home fees currently average around £600 per week (£800 for a nursing home), according to Age UK (3).

This makes having a good financial plan in place throughout your life even more important. However, if you’re an LGBTQ+ individual, you may face additional expenses over the years, which could result in you having less money available to put aside for your retirement. You could also lose out when it comes to earnings, with a poll by YouGov for the TUC finding just one in eight employers monitor the pay gap between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ staff (4).

The TUC wants the government to address this by introducing a statutory requirement “for large employers to report on their LGBTQ+ pay gaps – in the same way they do their gender pay gaps – with action plans detailing how bosses will address these inequalities”. While this would go some way towards helping redress any inequality, change is typically slow – the Equal Pay Act came into force in 1975, yet women still haven’t achieved equal pay (5).

There may be other hidden costs that come with being LGBTQ+, too. For instance, same-sex couples looking to start a family may need to consider options such as IVF or surrogacy, which can be costly. And living in more LGBTQ+ friendly areas – such as London, Manchester or Brighton – is typically more expensive due to above-average property prices.

Unequal inequality 

The financial impact varies for different members of the community. Gender reassignment surgery, for instance, is a large expense that transgender people may face. 

There are also some more nuanced impacts, for example, two women in a relationship may find they’re hit twice by the gender pay gap, and this might have a knock-on effect on their joint pension pot in retirement.

It’s the same story when it comes to the discrimination that’s routinely faced by LGBTQ+ people. For example, there is a lot more acceptance and representation of the LGB community. For the T and Q letters, there’s still a lot of day-to-day discrimination.

LGBTQ+ in later life

Older LGBTQ+ people may wish to receive care from a provider that understands their specific needs. One London-based company, Alternative Care Services, was set up for clients in this community. Staff are specially trained to have a better understanding of LGBTQ+ people’s specific needs. However, dedicated LGBTQ+ care providers are few and far between. 

No matter what your gender or sexual identity, the importance of budgeting throughout your life to achieve your financial goals is the same – although the use of your money may be different.

As with any budgeting, start by setting a goal with a value and a timeframe. This can make it seem far more real and can help you to focus on putting that money aside. Saving regularly rather than by ad-hoc lump sums generally works better for people. For example, if you need to save £5,000 to pay for IVF treatment in five years’ time, you know you need to save £84 into a cash savings pot each month. This makes it far more manageable. It’s important not to forget the other costs and save for these too.

It is also crucial for everyone to be comfortable with their financial adviser and happy to speak openly and honestly. This means working with an adviser who is welcoming, listens carefully and is considerate of the language they use. 

If you’re looking for an adviser who you can feel comfortable speaking to and who understands the issues you’re experiencing, get in touch with us today -

Kathryn L Wilkinson Wealth Management Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James's Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website The ‘St. James's Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James's Place representatives.

The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested. 

The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.


(1) Past and Projected Period and Cohort Life Tables: 2020-based, UK, 1981 to 2070, Office For National Statistics, January 2022

(2) Life Expectancy Calculator, Office for National Statistics, accessed January 2023

(3) Paying for Residential Care, Age UK, accessed January 2023

(4) 1 in 5 Workplaces Do Not Have Any Policies to Support LGBT Staff – TUC Poll, YouGov for TUC, June 2022 (Based on a survey sample size of 1,001)

(5) Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2022, Office for National Statistics, October 2022

Published: 20-Sep-2023: (7254) Top Stories

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