Survey: LGBT Americans better prepared for retirement

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A survey of how well LGBT Americans are prepared for retirement found that they are better at managing their money than the average American.

Conducted by Prudential, the survey of 1,000 LGBT respondents found they earn more, save more and have less debt. Respondents not only reported significantly higher annual incomes – $61,500 compared with the national median of $50,054 – but they also carried about $4,000 less in debt than the average American and had $6,000 more in household savings. According to the survey, LGBT people had more equity in their homes – a median of $77,000 compared to the national median of $62,000

Prudential also found that LBGT Americans have an unemployment rate of 7 percent, compared with the national rate of 7.9 percent.

Michele Meyer-Shipp, chief diversity officer at Prudential, told CNN that several important factors lie beneath the statistics:  LGBT individuals are generally well-educated, with more than half of respondents having at least a bachelor's degree, and tend to live in higher-income areas, she said.

“It flows down – you have a higher level of education, access to higher paying jobs in areas where there are good salaries, and more disposable income to allocate to things like saving and retirement,” Meyer-Shipp said. In addition, uncertainty about the future of gay rights likely prompts many members of the LGBT community show prudence in managing their assets, she added.

Federal law denies aame-sex couples Social Security and pension survivor benefits.

“The LGBT community has unique concerns, so when you're planning you've got to be more cautious about where you're putting your money and how much you're saving,” Meyer-Shipp said.