CNN Health took on LGBT aging this week with an overview article, “Retirement options grow as gay boomers find more mianstream acceptance.”
Bob Witeck, CEO and co-founder of Witeck Communications, is quoted extensively in the article, talking about how life has changed for LGBT older people, including how many — like him — don’t expect to retire.
The article also reviews recent LGBT aging policy changes, and features quotes by Michael Adams of SAGE and Laurie Young of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. It’s currently available at http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/09/health/lgbt-retirement/index.html
Reuters has published an checklist for LGBT Americans planning retirement which includes a couple juicy statistics.
The article, available at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/21/us-column-miller-lgbtretirement-idUSBRE85K12N20120621, urges LGBT adults to:
- Check your 401(k) beneficiaries, as starting in 2010, you’re allowed to list non-spouse beneficiaries;
- Check your pension survivor benefits; 73% of corporations now offer a survivor option for domestic partners;
- Check your retiree health insurance; if you’re one of the lucky ones whose corporation will pick up your post-retirement health insurance bill, there’s a 44% chance they will extend that coverage to your domestic partner;
- Think about estate taxes; starting in 2013, if your same-sex spouse will inherit more than $1 million from you (or vice versa), the federal estate tax will take 55% of it. Alternatives include a life insurance policy and annual tax-free gifts up to $13,000; and
- Consider lobbying your state to have it implement spousal impoverishment rules that will protect the spouses/partners of LGBT people whose nursing home bills are paid by Medicaid. (See previous posting for a webinar on this legislative issue.)
In another of many signs of the damage being done by the U.S. economic downturn, RainbowVision, the Santa Fe LGBT retirement facility GrayPrideParade first wrote about on February 25, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The New York Times also reports that the recession, which impacted RainbowVision primarily because so many people have been unable to sell their homes to move to the community, led management to increase the monthly fees charged to existing residents. This has, in turn, led to rancor and division, with some residents refusing to pay the fees, thereby creating more financial pressures.
The Times goes on to report that this is the second LGBT retirement community to file bankruptcy papers; the Palms of Manasota near Sarasota, Florida, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year. In addition, “a development near Portland, Oregon is struggling at 25 percent of capacity,” and proposed communities in Austin, Texas; Boston; and near Phoenix, Arizona “never opened because of a lack of finances and a decline in real estate values.”
The full article is available at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/29/us/gay-retirement-communities-struggling-in-the-recession.html; the Times charges online users once they have accessed a certain number of articles in a month’s time.
In another advance that helps solidify LGBT rights as legitimate federal concerns, the Obama Administration this week released labor data that included questions about the degree to which private and government workers have access to benefits for their same-sex partners. Continue reading