Are Gay Couples Wealthier than Straight Couples?

Are Gay Couples Wealthier than Straight Couples?

Jake Skelhorn
February 13, 2024
Many people, including anyone with a mortgage, and a couple of kids, will probably tell you that gay couples are richer than their straight counterparts. This stems from the fabulous lives gay people portray on their TikTok stories and Instagram, with the endless post of wearing fashion- forward clothing while appearing to be on an endless vacation. The truth- despite having higher household income their net worth lacks behind their heterosexual counterparts.

Gay Couples Should Have a Higher Net Worth

Since the US Census started including same-sex couples, there have been some interesting revelations. Gay married couples had a higher median household income vs. opposite-sex married couples: $107,200 and $96,930, respectively. This is compounded by DINK! What, you don’t know DINK? Dual Income No Kids- most gay couples don’t have kids and both typically work outside the home (or from home these days.) Also, according to a breakdown by UCLA, almost 50% of same- sex couples have higher education versus 33% of straight couples. So, even with all these advantages, poverty rates are insignificantly different between gays and straights, and same- sex net worth falls behind straight couples… but why?

Despite More Financial Resources, Net Worth is Lower

You would think not having kids, alone, would rocket gay couples forward in the wealth game. However, there are some specific reasons why gay couples are not richer. Same- sex couples tend to have a greater degree of instability in their households. It can take gays a little longer to find a happy and healthy relationship. Any gay person from a small town can understand this…the options are not always the best. Despite having higher incomes, there is also a lower level of home ownership in same-sex couples. 64% of straight couples own homes vs. 49% of gay couples, and owning a home can make a huge impact on your overall net worth. A significant reason for a lack of wealth within the gay community is finding financial professionals that do not discriminate against LGBT+ people. It’s never too late to rectify this.

How to Fix This

Significant steps have already been taken to minimize the disparage between straight and gay couples- specifically marriage equality. This opens up many benefits that were once unobtainable to same- sex couples. There are many automatic rights that married couples receive when it comes to taxes, estate planning, etc. Gay couples should be encouraged to marry- even if they don’t feel the need to have the label. This will come with time as more and more gay couples feel comfortable seeking out financial professionals.

Gay couples are well positioned to overtake straight couples in single- generation wealth collection, even if more gay couples are adopting and having kids through surrogacy. There are still challenges that stand in the way- over 30% of LGBT+ report experiencing discrimination from a financial professional. As we move forward to become a more inclusive society, same- sex couples will buy homes within their communities and will have access to financial professionals that understand their specific needs and desires, while education and employment opportunities also continue to expand. I encourage gay couples, young or old, to find a qualified financial professional that makes you feel comfortable and understands your specific needs.

Spark Wealth Advisors is a gay- owned financial planning firm. We strive to provide gay couples with access to financial planning & investment management without the worry of discrimination and the ability to work with a planning who truly understands your life.