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Economic optimism is high in LGBT community, report says

Religion and BeliefSame-Sex Marriage

In contrast to the still-sharp pessimism of many other Americans, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is notably optimistic about the U.S. economy and their own financial well-being, according to a study released Thursday.

By almost all measures, gay Americans are financially upbeat, according to the Wells Fargo poll.

Nearly two-thirds of poll respondents said they’re confident about their financial futures. Among the general population, a mere 52% report such confidence.

Nearly 60% of those polled described themselves as financially comfortable compared with a bit more than half of all U.S. adults, the poll found. Two-thirds say they’re secure in their jobs versus 55% of the general population. And LGBT adults have higher median net savings than the overall population, the survey found.

Why the optimism?

One possible explanation, said Kyle Young, a Wells Fargo investment officer, is that the LGBT community’s political achievements in recent years, including more success in pushing for gay marriage, have boosted overall sentiment.

“To be a part of the political discussion is empowering and creates a sense of engagement, excitement and optimism that members of the community have never been able to experience in the history of this country,”  he said.

And fewer than 1 in 10 people in the poll reported having children, yielding greater ability to save and invest.

“This family structure lends itself to higher savings rates, more financial flexibility and more financial options for long-term planning,” Young said. “LGBT respondents consistently report larger asset and portfolio sizes than the general public.”

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Follow Walter Hamilton on Twitter @LATwalter

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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