Study finds baby boomers, Gen X face health-care cost hurdles
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What do gay baby boomers need as they grow older?

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month.

Capital City Pride dot net IMG_8201

In a proclamation, President Obama said that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender or LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, Obama said, but there’s more work to be done… LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect. And he added:

As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our nation was founded, every American will benefit.

During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Rita Marching IMG_8086

When I marched in the Olympia, Wash., Capital City Pride Parade, I thought about gay baby boomers and what their concerns are, as they grow older.

A study, “Out and Aging: The MetLife Study of Lesbian and Gay Baby Boomers,” takes a look the needs of the boomer generation as it reached midlife and beyond. The study found:

  • Both lesbian and bisexual women and gay and bisexual men share a concern about their financial stability as they age into retirement. (1) For women, their greatest fear is outliving their income as they age. (2) For men, their great fear is becoming dependent on others and becoming sick or disabled.
  • More than a quarter, 27 percent, of LGBT boomers reported great concern about discrimination as they age, and less than half expressed strong confidence that health-care professionals will treat them “with dignity and respect.” Fears of insensitive and discriminatory treatment by health-care professionals are particularly strong among lesbians, of whom 12 percent said they have absolutely no confidence that they will be treated respectfully.
  • LGBT baby boomers want to spend their final days in the comfort of their own homes. Nearly half, 47 percent, said they would like their end-of-life care to take place in their current residence with the help of hospice care, followed at a distant second by 16 percent who would prefer to spend their final days in their current homes without hospice care.
  • Lesbian and bisexual women appear to be less financially prepared for the end of life. For instance, they’re less likely than their male counterparts to have purchased long-term care insurance or to have written wills.
  • One half, 51 percent, of LGBT baby boomers have yet to complete wills or living wills spelling out their long-term care and end-of-life wishes – yet such documents are important for LGBT older adults given the current lack of legal protection for LGBT couples and families.
  • Almost 40 percent of respondents believe that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has helped them prepare for aging in some way. They’ve developed positive character traits, greater resilience, or better support networks as a consequence of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

Parade Leg Bldg IMG_8090

The MetLife Mature Market Institute and the Lesbian and Gay Aging Issues Network of the American Society on Aging undertook this national survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender baby boomers in February 2006.

A sample of 1,000 LGBT people ages 40 to 61 participated in an online survey conducted by Zogby International, a polling and public-opinion research firm.

Let me know if this survey reflects your concerns as a gay baby boomer consumer as you approach and enter retirement. Do you have additional new worries about the coming years due to the Great Recession?

Rainbow Band Marching IMG_8211
 
Note: The photos are from Capital City Pride Parade.

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison

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