We have a lot of fun in the meetings for this project. Among the qualitative research work package, we all identify as LGBT+. El, who leads the work is a lesbian and Peter and Lee are gay men. We often laugh at how we reflect the stereotypes that we all share in the LGBT+ community. One of these is where we live: Peter and Lee live in flats near to city centres in large cities; El lives in a cottage in a rural village.
Why do I share these quite personal details? Well, as we’ve previously blogged about, in this project, as well as looking at access to welfare benefits, we’re also interested in wealth as it is how people can maximise their own welfare, particularly in later life. Some examples of this are people paying into an occupational pension, or buying a house where they then have an asset they can sell to pay for social care, or to provide an income.
Early on in the project we carried out analysis of the Understanding Society dataset which revealed some interesting patterns regarding housing wealth, which we blogged about here (and a paper is soon to be published based on these findings). We have now done some analysis of the Wealth and Assets Survey, which collects far more, and far more accurate, data on sources of wealth.
We have not completed this analysis, but even the descriptive statistics we have are pointing towards a very similar pattern among lesbians and gay men which intrigues us. Basically, if a lesbian owns a house, it is more likely to be worth less than the UK average (c. £250,000); and gay men are more likely to be very wealthy (having total assets worth over £250,000*).
Because of this, we are doing a targeted recruitment of these two groups for interviews, lesbian homeowners and wealthy gay men, to see if we can start to understand why. In this, we are also really interested in how wealth is shared within these households, and considerations around inheritance as well.
If you are interesting in taking part, see our Get Involved page.
* this might not seem very much, but it is far above the average amount of wealth households in the UK have, and is based on a threshold used by the Resolution Foundation in this excellent report.