The LGBT Financial Experience

LGBT Community Is Financially Sound—Yet Concerned

lgbt thumb

Our new "LGBT Financial Experience 2012-2013 Research Study" provides a snapshot of the financial lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans. The study reveals that LGBT Americans are by and large a financially robust community that actively contributes to the country's economy. Its members are generally confident about their financial futures, but not without concerns—the main concerns being retirement, legislation that negatively affects their financial rights, and the lack of Social Security survivors benefits for same-sex couples.

Watch Prudential leaders and actor Wilson Cruz discuss findings from the study and the unique challenges the LGBT community faces with regard to retirement planning and saving. Watch video now.

Read articles with tips for managing your personal life.

Key findings of the study include:


  • Retirement is the top LGBT financial concern. 78% of participants are already saving for retirement. Baby Boomers face challenges, including employment discrimination, that suppress their savings potential. Also, HIV left many gay men taking early retirement.


  • The LGBT community has a mid-range financial confidence, with gay men somewhat more confident than lesbians.
  • Compared with the general population, the LGBT community feels less prepared to make wise financial decisions for a variety of unique legal, economic, and social reasons.
  • The majority of participants say they are upbeat about their finances: 22% say they are "upscale or doing well," and 47% say they are "paying their bills and staying independent," while 31% feel they are "on the edge or falling behind."
  • Median LGBT household income is $61,500 vs. $50,000 for the average American household. LGBT households supporting a child reported a median income of $71,100.
  • Gay men earn more than lesbians individually ($49,000 vs. $43,500 median income), a gap smaller than that of the general population. Lesbians reported marginally higher median household income than gay men ($63,700 vs. $62,300), but are more likely to live in a dual-income household and have children.

LGBT Family and Marriage

  • 49% of participants were single, 7% were in a legally recognized relationship, and 34% lived together with no legal protections. 15% were parents, of which 27% reported being single, similar to the general population.
  • The number of LGBT parents continues to grow and is expected to increase significantly starting with Generation Y. Already 23% of lesbians and 7% of gay men are fiscally responsible for a child under age 18. Among Gen Y study participants, 11% already have children and an additional 49% plan to have children in the future.

*The "LGBT Financial Experience 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study" was conducted by Community Marketing Inc. of San Francisco, CA, which surveyed a diverse group of 1,401 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Americans aged 25-68 from urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the 50 states in the month of August 2012. No income or other criteria were required to participate; respondents included the wealthy, the middle-class, and those struggling to pay bills.