Same-sex couples and finances

An article over at marketwatch.com reports says-sex couples are less likely to save for retirement than the rest of the population.

They cite  a recent Prudential LGBT Financial Experience report which found most LGBT couples are more likely to call themselves spenders than savers. The report found, that compared to the population at large, fewer respondents have started saving or investing for retirement, have insurance, or an estate plan. In addition to those things, 41% of respondents said they are struggling to make ends meet.

“We’re behind when it comes to personal finance and the types of things to help us succeed,” said Brian Thompson, a Chicago-based financial adviser who specializes in LGBT couples.

The number of LGBT Americans who are married has nearly tripled since 2012 from 8% to 30% in 2016 and more have been living together since 2012. Since the federal government now recognizes their unions, it has simplified their finances overall, thanks to easier ways of filing taxes, insurance coverage and estate planning. Even though things have become simpler, individuals and couples need to prepare for potential setbacks or challenges. The article offers up these tips:

Apply for Social Security: While social security benefits are available to spouses since the legalization of same-sex marriage, couples who “married in states that supported same-sex marriages before the federal government did, you may be at risk of missing out on those benefits — such as Social Security — since those benefits will not automatically be given to you and you must therefore apply…”

Be mindful of potential challenges: LGBT individuals face income gaps linked to their gender identity and sexual orientation… “generally, males usually earn more than females but gay men and lesbian women reported earning less on average than their heterosexual counterparts.”

Keep your documents within reach: “LGBT couples, whether married or not, should not only get important documents, such as medical directives and power of attorney papers, in order, but they should keep those documents within reach, such as saved to the cloud and accessible on your phone…”

To read more deatils:   3 things same-sex couples should do to get their finances in order