(NewsUSA) - Making sense of your personal finances can feel overwhelming for anyone, but for LGBTQ+ couples, financial planning can be particularly complex. A patchwork of state and federal policies can make it difficult for couples to understand all the benefits and challenges the law presents for them. Many LGBTQ+ couples also invest considerable time and resources toward ensuring that their assets are secure, and their families are protected, should the political landscape change.
Here are five strategies that LGBTQ+ couples can use to help manage their money and reach their financial goals:
1. Reimagine your retirement plan. LGBTQ+ couples can work together to fund their retirement in ways you might not have considered. For example, for married couples, a spouse with eligible compensation could make an IRA contribution on behalf of their nonworking spouse. Couples should also make sure their spouse, partner or loved one is named as the beneficiary on their retirement plan.
2. Make your partnership official. The legalization of same-sex marriage means LGBTQ+ couples might gain financial benefits from getting married, such as federal protection for certain asset types. If you decide not to get married, you may want to consider creating a domestic partnership agreement that incorporates financial planning strategies to protect your assets and your loved one.
3. Plan for your future family. If you’re interested in having children, you may need to save more and budget for adoption agency fees or fertility treatments, as well as increased health coverage for your growing family.
4. Create an estate plan. This is particularly important if you own significant assets, such as multiple retirement accounts or real estate. You may want to establish an irrevocable trust for some or all these assets to ensure seamless wealth transfer to your loved ones. Your financial planner will walk you through estate planning to ensure your loved ones are protected. In addition to living wills, LGBTQ+ couples should have documents such as health care proxies and medical powers of attorney in place to support end-of-life decision-making.
5. Meet with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional. CFP® professionals have the education and experience to help LGBTQ+ couples navigate their unique and complex financial situations. Working with a CFP® professional can help you focus on your financial goals and priorities, whether you want to create a holistic financial plan or just want some financial guidance on a specific topic.
For more financial planning resources and to find a CFP® professional near you, visit LetsMakeAPlan.org. Use the LGBTQ+ Individuals/Couples filter to narrow your search to CFP® professionals who are allies or members of the LGBTQ+ community.
By exploring your financial situation together and mapping out a path to follow, you and your loved one will feel more confident about your financial choices.