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The Impact The LGBTQ Pay Gap Has On Achieving ‘The American Dream’

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LGBTQ Millennial workers earn 12% less than straight Millennials. As a result, the typical LGBTQ Millennial earns an average salary of $59,400 per year, while heterosexual Millennials earn $67,800. This makes it harder for LGBTQ people to achieve “The American Dream” of owning their own home, getting wed, having children, and securing their ideal job. But, just how is the LGBTQ pay gap affecting the finances of the LGBTQ community and prohibiting them from living the life they yearn for?

Saving enough for a down payment
Just 49% of LGBTQ households own their own home, according to PR Newswire. Of this figure, only 23% are Millennials. In comparison, the national average home ownership rate sits at 64.3%. Regardless of sexuality, one of the biggest financial concerns for individuals is being able to save for a down payment. Zillow reports that the median sold price of homes in the U.S is $226,500, meaning with a 20% deposit, you’d need more than $45,000 to secure your very own property. Despite earning significantly less as an LGBTQ, there’s no leeway when it comes to buying property. This means they have to work and save harder to accumulate the deposit they need, which has led to seven out of 10 LGBTQ renters stating that down payment saving is challenging.

Planning the perfect wedding
In the year proceeding the Supreme Court’s decision to make same-sex marriage a nationwide equal right, male couples spent $33,822 on their wedding and female couples spent $25,334. In contrast, the average cost of a wedding in America is $33,931, according to The Knot. But, just a year later, the typical same-sex male wedding cost $18,049 and same-sex female wedding cost $17,341. While it may appear that the LGBTQ society has got savvier with their money, the reality is they’re having to scale back their wedding costs due to the LGBTQ pay gap leaving a hole in their finances.

Starting a family
There are only 115,000 same-sex households who have children, reports Lifelong Adoptions. Yet, two million LGBTQ individuals are keen to adopt a child. So, why haven’t these individuals taken the step into parenthood yet? It’s estimated that it costs $233,610 to raise a child until the age of 18. If the LGBTQ pay gap figures stay as they are today, over the course of 18 years.

The cost of having a child is also high for LGBTQ couples. Adoption can cost between $5,000 and $40,000. Meanwhile, surrogacy can cost as much as $150,000. And, this is where the pay gap really highlights how much LGBTQ people are impacted by lower salaries. But, this shouldn’t deter individuals from starting a family of their own. Borrowing cash to cover their expenses, either from a lender or from loved ones can help LGBTQ people on their way to parenthood. The affordable repayments will also make financial management easier when there’s a little person in the mix, too.

Securing the perfect job
One of the main reasons why the LGBTQ pay gap exists is because of the stigma attached to being LGBTQ. Research shows that nearly one in 10 LGBTQ workers quit their job due to their working environment being unwelcoming of their sexuality. As a result, the opportunity to progress within one company, gain a pay rise, and earn a reasonable wage is typically difficult. However, employers are becoming more accepting of the community and it’s beneficial to seek out employment with the nation’s most LGBTQ friendly employers, such as Chevron, Ford, or HP.

There’s no denying that the pay gap that exists for LGBTQ workers is impacting their ability to achieve ‘The American Dream’. But, LGBTQ people ultimately hold the power to change the way they manage their finances and achieve everything that they want in life.