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Professional ideas on managing office and financial strain – A Breaking the Stigma unique I Asked ChatGPT for Retirement Advice, and Its Response Wasn’t Bad

Due to a legacy of discrimination and ongoing legal disparities, LGBTQ+ people have a variety of unique financial needs and challenges. Employment, healthcare, family planning, insurance, housing, marriage, and retirement are just some of the financial planning priorities that may look a bit different for LGBTQ+ people. 

Luckily, there are many LGBTQ+ financial experts and influencers (or “finfluencers”) sharing their knowledge and lived experiences around money and finance online through social media, books, podcasts, and their own platforms. 

Key Takeaways

  • Because LGBTQ+ people are still not legally and socially guaranteed equality and protection, they face a variety of financial challenges.
  • Financial influencers from within LGBTQ+ communities can be well-positioned to offer advice and insight around personal finance situations that are more specific to LGBTQ+ people.
  • As with any source of financial information, it’s important to consider the qualifications and background of any financial influencer. It’s always recommended to seek advice from professional financial advisors when possible.

With many personal finance influencers sharing content online, there’s a wealth of information out there. Here are a few financial influencers and experts from LGBTQ+ communities who are worth following:

Carmen Perez is the founder of Make Real Cents, a blog about personal finance and financial independence, and the creator of Much, a budgeting and finance management app. With a Bachelor of Science degree in finance, she focuses on teaching millennials and Gen Z about money management and building wealth, with tips on investing, crypto, paying down debt, budgeting, and saving.

Although her financial advice is not specifically targeted to LGBTQ+ communities, Perez gave this advice in an interview: “Because folks in our community can and do face financial problems because of their gender identity or sexual orientation, side hustles are one of the best ways to give yourself a raise and bridge income loss/stagnant wages. While building a side hustle can take time, it’s advantageous to have a book of business or another stream of income you can rely on regardless of your employer.”

Daniella Flores is a neurodivergent, nonbinary, and queer Latine entrepreneur who helps LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent people develop their money, side hustles, and careers. Their podcast, Remote Work Bestie, launched in 2023 and interviews guests on topics like salary transparency, traveling while working full time, moving abroad to work remotely, and working with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Their financial resources focus on saving, investing, upskilling, and finding and managing passive income streams.

About their work, Flores writes, “We don’t believe in gatekeeping through manipulative ‘hustle bro’ culture. This knowledge should be accessible to anyone and everyone. Side hustles are all about creating more assets, income streams, and options—and can be an important tool when trying to build wealth and financial freedom.”

Husbands David Auten and John Schneider are authors, bloggers, speakers, and the creators of the Queer Money podcast, which is all about the nuances of personal finance in LGBTQ+ communities. It all started when the two financial services professionals found themselves living beyond their means and accruing over $50,000 of credit card debt. They created a system to pay it off and started sharing their personal and professional experience around debt, entrepreneurship, saving, and investment with others.

On the topic of LGBTQ+ representation in the financial services industry, Auten said in an interview, “There’s always been a struggle […] for representation, but beyond that, I think that there’s been a struggle with how the finances of queer folks [are] different than the general population[.] How do we figure out those nuances and serve those nuances? And I think a lot of companies are scared to do that, or hesitant to do that, or just downright don’t want to do that.”

While not a typical social media influencer, David Rae is an established media personality whose financial advice segments have appeared on various news outlets. Rae is also an accredited financial expert, holding Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) certifications, and he works with many LGBTQ+ clients through his financial advising company. On his website and in other publications, Rae has written on topics like retirement, savings, taxes, investing, and wealth management.

Regarding financial planning in the LGBTQ+ community, Rae says, “I don’t think investing for the LGBT community is actually a different thing unless you’re really trying to do socially conscious investing. I think where the differences lie is really in financial planning. You build in different areas, you have different financial goals, and you have different expenses that are going to be a bigger thing for you. We have some income advantages—double income, no kids is a big advantage for many gay couples—but at the same time we’re living in metropolitan areas that have much higher costs of living, so it will balance out.”

K. Kenneth Davis is a Black transgender entrepreneur, financial literacy activist, and speaker who works to empower and educate LGBTQ+ people in order to end systemic poverty and economic discrimination. He holds a Master of Science in finance from Pace University and writes, coaches, runs workshops and creates content around topics like debt, navigating the legal system as a transgender person, and money management.

In an interview about his work, Davis said, “If you are queer, please do not let society or capitalism make you think that you cannot thrive within this world because of your gender. It is possible to live your lifestyle peacefully, have a comfortable life, and achieve any financial goals that you have. I literally started with nothing, and I built an impactful company that does fantastic work to help empower others through mindset and money training.”

River Nice is a queer independent financial planner who runs Be Intentional Financial, a remote, fee-only financial planning firm. Their specialty is working with transgender and queer individuals and families on short-term and long-term financial goals. They run online workshops and group programs, provide free online resources, and share videos on Instagram where they answer comments and questions from followers and users about money, work, financial planning, retirement, and more.

Regarding financial concerns that are specific to queer people, Nice says, “Being able to talk to somebody about money and not have to explain what hormones are, what gender-affirming surgery is, that family planning takes a little extra effort and sometimes a lot of extra money […] there [are just] those basic competenc[ies] of understanding what our lives are like.”

Unique Financial Challenges That LGBTQ+ People Face

Without equal rights and protections when it comes to healthcare, work, school, housing, and in society at large, many LGBTQ+ people continue to experience discrimination and financial difficulty. 

According to a report by the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement and Research, LGBTQ+ adults were more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts to report low or unpredictable incomes, struggle to get by, be unemployed or looking for work, be unbanked or underbanked, have poor credit scores, or have less money saved for retirement.

Research has also identified an LGBTQ+ wage gap: LGBTQ+ workers earn around 90 cents compared to each dollar that an average worker earns. Nonbinary individuals, transgender people, and LGBTQ+ people of color typically earn even less.

In addition, many LGBTQ+ people experience different challenges when it comes to financial planning because of their priorities and lived experiences around work, education, healthcare, family planning, housing, and retirement.

Financial Advice for Members of LGBTQ+ Communities

Although there is much progress still to be made, the financial sector has begun to diversify, and LGBTQ+ people can now look to allies and role models within their communities for financial advice. 

Whether online or in person, many resources are available that speak directly and specifically to the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people when it comes to personal finance. Finding an LGBTQ+-friendly bank can be a good place to start, as well as improving financial literacy with free online resources and courses such as the ones offered by the influencers listed above. 

Opening up the conversation around money with friends and chosen family can also be a helpful starting point, whether it’s sharing tips and ideas or asking for emotional support.

Who Are the Most Popular LGBTQ+ Financial Influencers on Social Media?

LGBTQ+ financial influencers, or “finfluencers,” with large followings on social media include Carmen Perez (@MakeRealCents), David Auten and John Schneider (@DebtFreeGuys), and Danielle Flores (@ILikeToDabble).

Where Can I Find LGBTQ+ Financial Influencers?

Many LGBTQ+ financial influencers have multiple social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as their own websites.

Should I Take Financial Advice from a Financial Influencer?

As with any financial information, it’s important to check the credibility of the source, including relevant experience and professional designations. When it doubt, online money advice should not be considered a substitute for professional advice from a qualified financial advisor.

The Bottom Line

There are many financial influencers who identify as LGBTQ+ who share their experiences with money and financial planning online. LGBTQ+ people may find it helpful to look to their resources for inspiration, advice, and assistance, as content creators who are part of LGBTQ+ communities are likely to better address the specific financial situations that LGBTQ+ people tend to experience.

However, it is always important to thoroughly vet any information found online, review the financial qualifications and background of the source, and seek advice from designated financial professionals when appropriate.