In working life, women already face obstacles to success due to the gender pay gap. This effect is even more pronounced in pension terms, where years of playing catch-up have led to women receiving 30% less pension on average than men, according to the World Economic Forum. Lesbians are adversely affected, too, with widespread barriers to same-sex partners receiving workplace benefits. An early retirement seems out of the question for lesbian couples; however, there is a lot you can do to both take retirement early and to enjoy it, too.
Your estate and financial situation
One way that retirement can come early is through a mortgage paid off early, or through having no mortgage at all. The removal of payments can significantly ease your outgoings. What then comes into factor is your pension. The earliest age you can claim state pension is 62, and as USA Today point out, the earlier you started working to more you will receive. Private pensions vary and will need to be assessed individually. Assessing how much money you’ll need to retire early varies depending on your lifestyle; according to money management website Fidelity, 12 times your annual income at 65 is a good baseline. For the average American, that’s just over $650,000 which should be achievable.
Having a contingency plan
Financial crisis can indiscriminately effect people, but lesbians are often more at risk as are other LGBTQ groups. As Human Rights Watch outline, discriminatory business practices being signed into law in the USA make it more difficult more lesbians to access services in their cities and towns. In times of emergency, this can lead to ruin. It’s important to have your own emergency fund for this reason; have savings that you don’t touch, or a pension that you are allowing to accrue value, for the worst case situation where you need to resume working life.
Don’t sacrifice everything
Most importantly, don’t completely halt your life in order to chase the dream of retirement. It’s important for your physical and mental well being that you experience life throughout your years, not just in retirement. The world is, in places, becoming friendlier to the LGBTQ community, and the US administration is pushing for the decriminalization of homosexuality across the world (even if the agenda behind this drive is for other reasons).
Travel, enjoy your life, and budget responsibly. With planning and hard work, you can have a nest egg tied up ready for a retirement way before the state pension age. Just don’t let it derail you and your partner’s life.