Study Reveals Successful Saving, Planning and Preparing for Retirement
June 26, 2014- MINNEAPOLIS– Despite the fact that they may be perceived as the most “untraditional” among all family types, same-sex couple families with kids are emerging leaders when it comes to success with their finances, according to the Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study* of 4,500 Americans. When asked how financially secure they feel, almost four in 10 (37%) same-sex couple families with kids reported feeling a high level of financial security, a very similar level to traditional families** (41%) and significantly higher than each of the other modern family** types identified. In the study, same-sex couple families were the only modern family type that included respondents with and without kids** because of their developing and unprecedented family structure.
The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study also discovered that same-sex couple families with kids have a similar financial profile as traditional families. When asked to describe their current financial situation, half of same-sex couple families with kids (50%) and traditional families (52%) described themselves as either wealthy/affluent or financially comfortable. This was much higher than all other modern family types who reported the same current financial status.
Same-sex couple families with kids and traditional families report having lower levels of debt than other modern families. An equal proportion of same-sex couple families with kids (22%) reported having no debt (not including mortgage) as traditional families. In contrast, only 16% of other modern family types reported having no debt.
“When it comes to managing family finances, the study revealed that same-sex couple families, which combine those couples with and without kids, have more in common with traditional families than any other modern family type,” said Allianz Life® Vice President of Consumer Insights Katie Libbe. “The financial services industry should take note that same-sex couple families are the most financially prepared type of modern family.”
The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study was designed to seek insights into the unique financial needs of today’s families. The other modern family types identified beyond traditional and same-sex couple families include single-parent households, those with adult children returning home (boomerang families), multi-generational families, blended families and families with older parents and young children. Survey participants were between 35 and 65 years old with household incomes of at least $50,000.
Blazing Their Own Financial Trail
Perhaps one reason for same-sex couple family financial success is their open and honest attitude toward discussing money. Same-sex couple families with kids were just as likely as traditional families to report that it is easy to discuss family finances with their spouse or significant other (87%) compared to other modern family types (82%). Yet, significantly more same-sex couple families with kids describe their family as able to adapt to change (89%), when compared to both traditional families (80%) and other modern family types (81%). What’s more, when same-sex couple families with kids compare their current family to the one they grew up with, their current family is less sheltered (33%) compared to traditional families (24%).
The study found that same-sex couple families with kids are unique in their approach to managing finances, compared to traditional families. A majority of traditional families fully combine their finances (80%) while significantly fewer (60%) same-sex couple families with kids fully combine them. More same-sex couple family members with kids keep their individual finances either partially separate (22%) compared to traditional families (15%) or completely separate (18%) compared to traditional families (5%).
Kids Change the Financial Landscape
The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study shows that while same-sex couple families overall are ahead of the game when it comes to their financial successes, having children greatly affects them. Compared to the overall same-sex couple family cohort who saved an average of $276,200 for retirement, same-sex couple families with kids have considerably less, reporting an average savings of $210,700. And yet, same-sex couple families are still the most successful modern family savers compared to other modern family types, who report having an average of $186,000 saved.
The story is similar when comparing family debt. Fewer same-sex couple families with kids (22%) report zero debt compared to same-sex couple families overall (24%), but they are still aligned with traditional families (22%) reporting no debt. While they report less debt, same-sex couple families with kids do not feel as comfortable with the debt they carry. Almost six in 10 (59%) same-sex couple families overall feel comfortable with the level of debt they carry, but only 52% of same-sex couple families with kids feel comfortable.
Thirty-seven percent of same-sex couple families with kids feel a high level of financial security, but their confidence is less than that of same-sex couple families overall (41%). When seeking help, there are differences in opinion about financial planning when kids come into the picture. Significantly more (65%) of the overall same-sex couple family cohort said they would prefer to work with a financial professional who is “knowledgeable and sensitive to my specific financial needs as a same-sex couple/family” than same-sex couple families with kids (49%). Instead, same-sex couple families with kids were more likely to want their financial professional to treat their financial needs “no differently than they would any other family” (51%).
“Like any other family type, adding children to the equation takes a toll on the family financial landscape,” said Libbe. “This is one key area where financial professionals can help.”
Opportunity for Financial Professionals
In LoveFamilyMoney, the Allianz study reveals that same-sex couple families with and without kids are very open to working with a financial professional. Nearly half (48%) say they currently have a financial professional or have used one in the past, which is slightly less than the 53% of traditional families who report the same, but higher compared to 44% of other modern family types.
In terms of what they seek in a financial professional, same-sex couple families are most motivated to go to a financial professional for: a better return on investments (40%); help in making financial decisions (30%); and answers to specific questions about their financial situation (28%).
*The Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study was conducted by The Futures Company via an online panel in January, 2014 with more than 4,500 panel respondents ages 35-65 with a household income of $50K+ and was commissioned by Allianz.
**In the LoveFamilyMoney study, Allianz identified seven distinct family types, including the traditional family and 6 other modern family cohorts:
- Traditional Families – Married couples of the opposite sex with at least one child under 21 living at home who do not meet the other modern family cohorts criteria
- Multi-Generational Families – Three or more generations living in the same household
- Single-Parent Families – One unmarried adult with at least one child under 18
- Same-Sex Couple Families – Married or unmarried couples living together with a member of the same gender – with and without children
- Same-Sex Couple Families with Kids – 35% of the same-sex couple family cohort (543 families). Married or unmarried couples living together with a member of the same gender – with at least one child in the household
The sample size for same-sex couples with children is 188 compared to those without children, which is 355
- Blended Families – Parents who are married or living together with a stepchild and/or child from a previous relationship
- Older Parent with Young Children Families – Parents age 40+ with at least one child under five in the household
- Boomerang Families – Parents with an adult child (21-35) who left and later returned to rejoin the family
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