Founder And Entrepreneur Describes Three Pivotal Generations Of LGBTQ+ Clients And How Advisors Can Address Their Specific Needs And Financial Well-Being
To honor Pride Month, WSR provides a platform for industry leaders from the LGBTQ+ community to speak about issues of concern to the community, addressing the next steps needed for progress and how the wealth management industry and allied advisors can get involved.
We spoke with Laura J. LaTourette (she, her), entrepreneur and Founder of Dahlonega, Georgia-based Family Wealth Management Group, who focuses on financial life planning and wealth management, serving a clientele comprised of women, allies and LGBTQ+ clients. She actively works to elevate inclusion, belonging, diversity, equity and accessibility in financial services.
LaTourette is currently serving as a CFP Board Ambassador; a PridePlanners Knowledge Circles Host, where she guides allied colleagues to become advocates; and an Ambassador for SAGE, an organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ elders.
We asked her to describe the evolving needs and experiences of three generations in the LGBTQ+ community, the specific and often unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community and how advisors can address those needs.
WSR: Tell us about the three generations in the LGBTQ+ community.
LaTourette: The LGBTQ+ community is comprised of three generations of people – the Silence Generation, the Pride Generation and millennials. They represent different periods of LGBTQ+ history and experiences.
It’s important to recognize that these generational distinctions are not absolute and that experiences can vary widely within each group. Additionally, there are subsequent generations beyond millennials who continue to shape and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Understanding the historical context and diverse experiences within these generations helps create a more comprehensive picture of the progress made and the work that remains to ensure full equality for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Silence Generation. This refers to individuals who came of age prior to the Stonewall Riots in 1969. They grew up in an era of widespread societal discrimination and often felt compelled to conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity. The main issues they faced included widespread homophobia, the pathologization of homosexuality and the lack of legal protections. Many Silence Generation members faced significant challenges in coming out and experienced social isolation.
The Pride Generation. This includes people who witnessed or actively participated in the LGBTQ+ rights movement that gained momentum after the Stonewall Riots. They lived through the 1970s and 1980s, which saw significant activism and the emergence of LGBTQ+ community organizations.
They fought for recognition, visibility and legal protections, including the decriminalization of homosexuality and advancements in civil rights. They also faced the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which disproportionately affected the LGBTQ+ community.
The Millennials. This generation, born roughly between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s to early 2000s, grew up in a time of increased visibility and progress in LGBTQ+ rights. They witnessed the gradual increase in LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media, advancements in marriage equality and the broader acceptance of sexual orientations and gender identities. However, issues such as bullying, discrimination, mental health and ongoing legal battles for transgender rights and protections still actively persist.
WSR: How can advisors and financial professionals address the needs of the LGBTQ+ community?
LaTourette: Financial advisors can play a valuable role in supporting the financial well-being and specific needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
Establish Trust And Understanding. Financial advisors can create a safe and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ individuals to discuss their unique financial concerns and goals. Building trust and demonstrating empathy are essential in addressing any potential hesitations or fears stemming from past experiences of discrimination or marginalization. Allies can learn more about our terminology through a guide published by the National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging.
Comprehensive Financial Planning. Financial advisors can work with LGBTQ+ people to develop comprehensive financial plans that align with their goals, values and aspirations. This includes assessing their current financial situation, creating budgets and setting strategies to build wealth, manage debt and save for retirement.
Be sensitive when asking questions about their current retirement plan and options. Many LGBTQ+ individuals may have faced challenges in saving for retirement due to societal discrimination and limited employment opportunities. Financial advisors should evaluate the need for additional savings to ensure a comfortable retirement when considering factors such as potential gaps in Social Security benefits and limited pension options.
Marriage And Family Planning. With the advancement of marriage equality, many LGBTQ+ individuals have the opportunity to enter into legally recognized marriages. Financial advisors can offer guidance on the financial implications of marriage, including joint financial planning, tax considerations and estate planning. They can also assist with financial strategies for LGBTQ+ individuals or couples who choose alternative family-building methods, such as adoption or assisted reproductive technology.
Estate Planning And Family Dynamics. Financial advisors should have conversations regarding their estate to ensure that assets are distributed according to their wishes, considering potential legal complexities. Many are deeply connected to chosen family structures and want charitable contributions to the LGBTQ+ community as part of their legacy.
Insurance And Risk Management. LGBTQ+ people may have unique insurance needs and concerns. Financial advisors can help them assess and secure appropriate insurance coverage, such as life insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance and disability insurance. Advisors can provide guidance on insurance companies that may have previously excluded LGBTQ+ individuals from coverage.
Long-Term Care Considerations. As Silence Generation LGBTQ+ individuals age, most have concerns about finding LGBTQ+ affirming long-term care facilities and addressing potential discrimination in healthcare settings. Financial advisors can help navigate the complex landscape of long-term care options, including those that prioritize inclusivity and provide resources on legal protections against discrimination.
Connecting them to LGBTQ+ community resources and organizations that specialize in LGBTQ+ aging issues, advocacy and support services is essential to aging with dignity.
Be An LGBTQ+-Friendly Financial Resource. Overall, financial advisors who are knowledgeable about LGBTQ+ issues and sensitive to the experiences of these three generations can provide vital support and guidance to peers and the financial services industry as well as clients. By educating yourself on the unique challenges faced by each one, advisors can help their LGBTQ+ clients navigate their financial journey and secure their long-term financial well-being.
James Miller, Contributing Editor and Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at ContributingEd@wealthsolutionsreport.com.