LGBT Baby Boomers Face Tough Retirement Hurdles

ABC News
By Ken Sweet
November 30, 2014

For Kathy Murphy, the difference between being gay or straight is $583 a month. Retirement should have been a “slam dunk,” the 62-year-old Texas widow says. She saved, bought a house with her spouse and has a pension through her employer.

But Murphy’s retirement has not been as secure as it should have been. She is missing out on thousands of dollars a year in Social Security benefits simply because she was married to a woman, not a man.

Murphy fell into a loophole in Social Security that denies survivor benefits to same-sex couples depending on what state they live in. Had Murphy and her wife, Sara Barker, lived next door in New Mexico, a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

“I never thought I would live to see same-sex marriage, but the government still minimizes my marriage and my relationship of 32 years,” Murphy says.

Murphy could be thought of as just one of the many baby boomers who are not prepared for retirement. But while the group overall is not ready to stop working, gay boomers face challenges that make them even more vulnerable, experts say.

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