A survey has found that LGBTQ Americans feel less confident about their finances and achieving the “American dream” than their straight peers.
Brokerage firm TD Ameritrade conducted a survey of 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 37 — with a 50-50 split between straight and LGBTQ-identifying participants.
They found that only 35% of LGBTQ millennials said they would achieve the stereotypical “American dream” of landing a good career, getting married, owning a home, having kids and investing in retirement.
That compares with almost half of heterosexual millennials who said they would achieve these goals.
LGBTQ millennials were also less assured they would meet financial goals and invest in the future, with less than 40% saying they believed they would be “financially secure in retirement,” compared to half of straight millennials.
Lule Demmissie, managing director of retirement and long-term investing at TD Ameritrade, said that lack of confidence is not helping their finances prosper.
“It is clear that when individuals feel less secure, it impedes their ability to improve their finances,” Demmissie told USA Today.
The survey also revealed that the reason many LGBTQ millennials are so concerned is that they make less than heterosexual people. LGBTQ millennials made 12% less money on average than their straight peers, earning $66,200 a year versus $79,400.
“The income gap,” says Demmissie, “can’t be overlooked. It’s real. Not imagined.”
The difference in income can be caused by sexuality getting in the way of promotions said Kim Howard, owner and adviser at KJH Financial Services.
“They do seem less confident, and it is still about an overall inability of society to totally accept them,” Howard explains. “There’s still that discrimination.”
She added that their sexuality “may translate into a lack of mentors and advancement,” and being passed up for promotions means continuing at a lower pay.