Friday, March 26, 2010

MetLife Survey: LGBT People More Likely To Age Alone

According to a new survey by insurance giant MetLife (you know, the ones with the cute commercials with Snoopy and Woodstock?) LGBT Baby Boomers expect to put off retirement until age 70 or beyond, fear being overly dependent on others for care, but feel that being LGBT and coping with the associated discrimination, has better prepared them for dealing with life as they age.

LGBT people are more likely to have a chosen family of close friends that they rely on for emotional support and are likely to be more dependent on them in later life. We already knew that, but it's nice that mainstream America gets to find out.

From the survey: Born between 1946 and 1964, LGBT Baby Boomers advanced the U.S. gay rights movement and within one generation succeeded in changing social attitudes from seeing homosexuality as a psychiatric condition to winning same-sex marriage rights and acknowledgment of their civil rights in an increasing number of states. Many unanswered questions emerge as this cohort ages into retirement and beyond and its ability to change the face of aging as much as it has changed attitudes about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Some of the findings of the MetLife survey include:

  • 60% of LGBT Boomers fear being unable to care for themselves as they age; 35% fear becoming dependent on others
  • Nearly two-thirds of LGBT Boomers say they have a "chosen family," a group of people they consider family, even though they are not legally or biologically related
  • Nearly half of the LGBT Boomers and four in ten Boomers from the general population say they don't expect to retire until age 70 or older
  • Men in both the LGBT and general population are nearly as likely as women to be giving care to another adult
Click here to go to the MetLife site for a PDF of the full survey results.
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