This guide offers a host of resources for LGBTQ+ people considering their financial affairs, from taxes to estate planning and more.
LGBTQ+ Financial Support and Resources
Individuals who are lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ) often have more specific financial needs than those outside the community. For example, some individuals may not be able to rely on the financial support of parents or legal guardians, or they may hope to seek out hormone and surgical treatments.
In addition, housing and mortgage discrimination affect members of the LGBTQ+ community at higher rates, while a lack of federal employment nondiscrimination protections can lead to concerns for those looking for employment.
Challenges Faced by LGBTQ+ Individuals in the Financial System
There are many areas of the financial system in which LGBTQ+ individuals may be met with particular difficulties or even discrimination. According to a 2018 Experian survey on LGBTQ finances, 62% of respondents reported experiencing financial challenges due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
For example, those within the community might be faced with more expensive family planning options to support adoption or IVF treatments. Trans folks seeking hormone or therapy treatments may also be looking at high costs, while marriage, estate planning and taxes may be complex issues for same-sex couples who have been together for decades.
Below are a number of resources to help support LGBTQ+ individuals hoping to make smart financial decisions.
- 5 Financial Factors Impacting the LGBTQ+ Community: Understanding the financial challenges facing those in the LGBTQ+ community can help you be better prepared to overcome them. This piece outlines those factors in an easy-to-read way.
- The Guide to Credit Discrimination: Many groups have been subject to credit discrimination, and the LGBTQ+ community is one of them. This guide can help you understand how and why this happens.
- Resources for LGBTQ College Students: Most colleges are more than happy to support LGBTQ+ students. This guide can help you understand which resources are offered by schools.
Your Right to Fair Housing
The Fair Housing Act, which was signed into law in 1968, prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status and disability. Some LGBTQ+ individuals denied housing or a mortgage may find help under the Act, although it doesn’t explicitly list sexual orientation or gender identity under its protected classes.
A person who identifies as LGBTQ may also find support under HUD’s Equal Access Rule or state and local anti-discrimination laws that specifically include sexual orientation and/or gender identity as protected classes.
LGBTQ+ youth who don’t find acceptance from their families often find themselves in unreliable or precarious housing situations. Homelessness among the LGBTQ+ community is more common than most realize. Among young adults aged 18-25, LGBTQ+ people have a 2.2 times greater risk of homelessness than non-LGBTQ+ people, according to the Williams Institute. Studies have also found that between 20% and 45% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+. Below is a comprehensive list of resources which can help.
- Financial and Social Resources for Homeless LGBTQ+ Youth: This guide can help those who are homeless and their advocates and loved ones learn how to support young people who identify as LGBTQ+. It includes links to organizations which offer emotional support, such as the Bill Wilson Center and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
Folks within the LGBTQ+ community may face discrimination when it comes to housing and lending. Discrimination can include being charged higher rents, being denied a mortgage or being charged higher interest rates on a mortgage due to prejudice related to sexual orientation and/or gender identity or HIV, religion or race. Such issues can be particularly prevalent among LGBTQ+ youth and young adults who are not welcomed at home. These resources offer an in-depth look at different ways to overcome discrimination.
Planning for a Family
An estimated 45% to 53% of LGBTQ+ millennials are planning to become parents for the first time or add another child to their family. For those who identify as LGBTQ+, family planning may require tackling a few hurdles.
Many LGBTQ+ households consider adoption, fertility treatments, foster care and surrogacy when thinking about parenthood. But options often come at a high price. IVF treatments, for example, can cost upwards of $10,000. Newlywed couples may also be learning about the laws of marriage and taxes for the first time. A variety of resources can help.
A 2015 ruling by the Supreme Court federally legalized same-sex marriage. With same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states, couples are entitled to the same financial benefits as heterosexual couples. The following resources can offer guidance on managing financial affairs.
- Financial Playbook for Married Couples: For most married partners, finances change significantly after marriage. This playbook can help you tackle certain issues as they come up and show you how to talk openly about your finances with your partner(s).
Parenting and Adoption
More than 100,000 same sex couples are raising children in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute. Same-sex couples raising children are also seven times more likely to be raising a foster child and seven times more likely to be raising an adopted child than their different-sex counterparts.
Deciding to have a family and planning for parenthood are some of the biggest choices made in life. A variety of resources can help you understand how to factor family matters into your budget long before you even decide to have a child.
- LGBTQ+ Financial Guide to Becoming a Parent: In this guide, you’ll be able to see how much adoption costs, as well as options like surrogacy, foster care, artificial insemination and more. The guide also explains what each option entails so you understand what to expect.
- A Guide to Child Adoption Costs: Adoption is one of the most common ways LGBTQ+ families have children, and there are a variety of options. Find out the difference between open and closed adoptions, in addition to international and domestic adoptions.
- Financial Guide to Being a Foster Parent: One of the most affordable options for LGBTQ+ individuals and couples looking to have children is through foster care. This guide provides resources for financially preparing to foster children, and it breaks down the associated costs.
- Managing Financial Challenges for Single Parents: If you’re single, having a child comes with managing financial responsibility alone. You’re apt to have a few challenges along the way, but this guide will help you prepare for them head-on.
Before same-sex marriage was legalized by the Supreme Court, those in domestic partnerships or those who had lived together but couldn’t get married were not able to claim tax benefits that other individuals could. All couples can now claim tax deductions and other tax benefits offered to heterosexual couples. To understand LGBTQ+-specific taxes, check out the resources below.
- What to Do If You Missed the Tax Filing Deadline: If you’ve ever missed a tax deadline, you know how unpleasant the IRS can be. This guide can help you make a plan and get your taxes paid.
- Should You File Your Taxes With Online Software or Hire an Accountant?: You can file taxes the old-fashioned way, opt for online tax software or get someone else to do them for you. Understand the pros and cons of each option, and find out which is suitable for you.
Finding Health Care Support
LGBTQ+ people not only may experience higher health care costs, but they also may have a harder time finding doctors with adequate expertise who can talk knowledgeably about family planning and trans care.
LGBTQ+ people are also at greater risk for certain conditions, diseases, and infections such as HIV/AIDS and cervical cancers and may have less access to healthcare and delay getting care, in part due to fear of unfair treatment by healthcare providers.
Medical resources for LGBTQ+ people are vital. The articles and organizations below are dedicated to making medical care more approachable and affordable for the LGBTQ+ community.
- Financing & Support for Gender Confirmation Surgery: For trans folks, gender confirmation surgery is often one of the most affirming choices they can make. These surgeries don’t come with a low price tag, though, so financial help is often a necessity. This guide can help you understand where to get financing.
Preparing for the Future: Estate Planning and Retirement
For LGBTQ+ couples, estate and retirement planning may require a few extra considerations depending on a couple’s marital status as well as their assets and life insurance policies. Making sure you have the correct paperwork in order, including wills, medical directives and trusts, is essential to smart decision making. For help planning, there are a few key resources:
- 6 Tips to Help LGBTQ Partners Plan Their Estate: Since many states don’t have dedicated anti-discrimination laws in regards to LGBTQ+ individuals and families, planning your estate can be complex. These tips can help make the process a bit easier.
Nonprofits and Businesses Helping the LGBTQ+ Community
A number of nonprofits and charities are dedicated to helping those within the LGBTQ+ find their financial footing. Other businesses are particularly inclined to support LGBTQ+ individuals. Below are some reputable organizations that can help.
- How to Overcome Past Financial Trauma and Increase Your Wealth: Being a victim of discrimination can, and often does, come with trauma that needs to be worked through. There are ways to overcome this and learn how to use your money to the best of your ability.
- 10 LGBTQ+ Charities and Nonprofits to Donate to During Pride Month: This article outlines some stellar options you can consider donating to, whether it’s Pride Month or not. Each of these organizations puts your money back into the LGBTQ+ community.
- 4 Companies With LGBTQ+ Leadership to Invest In: One of the best ways to support LGBTQ+ individuals is to help the businesses they’re involved in to succeed. LGBTQ+ businesses can show LGBTQ+ youth that the business world has a place for them. These companies are worth checking out.
Expert Insight on Financial Support for LGBTQ+ Individuals
Money Geek spoke with LGBTQ+ individuals and financial experts to gain insight into the best resources available for the community.
- What specific financial issue do you think are of the biggest concern for LGBTQ+ individuals?
- What are the best financial resources for LGBTQ+ individuals?
Lead Planner at Facet Wealth & a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional
Financial Representative at Strategies for Wealth and Guardian Life
Founder of My Gold Standard & Certified Trauma-Informed Financial Educator
President at Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer
About the Author
- Aegon. "LGBT: Retirement Preparations Amid Social Progress." Accessed September 11, 2021.
- Family Equality. "Building LGBTQ+ Families: The Price of Parenthood." Accessed September 17, 2021.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Housing Discrimination and Persons Identifying as LGBTQ." Accessed September 13, 2021.
- Williams Institute. "LGBT People and Housing Affordability, Discrimination, and Homelessness." Accessed September 11, 2021.
- Williams Institute. "How Many Same-Sex Couples in the U.S. Are Raising Children?." Accessed September 11, 2021.