SAGE: Helping Older Adults in the LGBT Community Thrive

Capital One is teaming up with SAGE to provide financial education and supportive services to LGBT older adults in New York City

Nearly one in three (15 million) older adults aged 65+ are living with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty level, according to a 2018 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The National Council on Aging reports that older adults facing poverty are struggling with rising housing and health care bills, inadequate nutrition, lack of access to transportation, diminished savings and job loss. 

Older adults in the LGBT community are at heightened risk for poverty, as older adults with same-sex partners lag behind heterosexual couples in income, assets and home ownership and have 37% less income in retirement savings.

Additionally, 51% of LGBT older people say they’re very or extremely concerned about having enough money to live on, as compared to 36% of non-LGBT older people.

To help ensure that older adults in the LGBT community receive fair and equal treatment and have the support they need to thrive, we’re partnering with New York City’s affiliates of SAGE — a national organization that offers supportive services and consumer resources to older adults in the LGBT community and their caregivers.

For more than 40 years, SAGE has addressed issues related to LGBT aging by advocating for their rights and ensuring fair access to opportunities.

In addition to providing financial support, Capital One is supporting SAGE through providing virtual financial well-being workshops to its participants in New York City as part of SAGE’s Financial Empowerment Initiative.

“We are thrilled at the opportunity to team up with SAGE to further its decades-long commitment to advocating on behalf of older adults in the LGBTQ+ community,” says Matt Cooper, Capital One’s General Counsel and the Executive Sponsor for the company's LGTBQ+ Business Resource Group OutFront. “At Capital One, we believe that pride is powerful and that all people should have equal opportunities to thrive.”  

Since its launch in 2020, associates at Capital One have worked with SAGE participants to offer expertise on topics such as saving, building credit and accessing online banking.

SAGE and Capital One select and hone topics for sessions that are most relevant for participants, many of whom live at the intersection of several identities such as LGBT older adults that are also people of color, transgender, living with a disability, a veteran and/or a long-term survivor of HIV.

“During the uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was even more important to have sound financial planning skills,” says one SAGE participant who attended the programming. “The instructor I worked with from Capital One offered great advice on managing my savings and am grateful that they’re partnering with SAGE.”

This support will also help SAGE’s efforts to lead programs in:

  • Care management: All Care Management clients undergo an extensive intake assessment designed to capture a deep understanding of their support services and care management needs. 
  • Housing: SAGE opened New York State’s first LGBT-friendly affordable housing development, Stonewall House, in Brooklyn in 2019 and opened the doors to a second development, Crotona Pride House, in the Bronx earlier this year.
  • Vaccinations: The organization is helping LGBT older adults in NYC access COVID-19 vaccines through several initiatives, including through its “Friendly Visitors” program, which pairs participants with long-term volunteers who have helped secure appointments.

Through Capital One’s support to organizations including SAGE, it is celebrating the progress and achievements made within the LGBTQ+ community throughout Pride Month and is committed to supporting legislation, implementing workplace policies and amplifying voices of the community year-long.

Those efforts to address issues facing the LGBTQ+ community builds upon the Capital One Impact Initiative, an initial $200 million, five-year commitment to support growth in underserved communities and advance socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity.

“SAGE is very grateful for our collaboration with Capital One, as it has not only enabled us to address the urgent needs of older adults in the LGBT community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also has also served as a robust resource for educating our constituents on financial wellbeing,” says Michael Adams, Chief Executive Officer of SAGE.

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