You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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A New Financial Future for LGBT Couples
For years, LGBT couples faced difficulties when it came to long-term financial planning: for committed couples, there were few protections in place to ensure that one partner would have access to the other’s retirement savings or social security benefits, or have the ability to make financial decisions about inheritance or financial management if the partnership wasn’t legally recognized. With gay marriage legal across the country, many LGBT couples are now realizing the financial impact of the Supreme Court’s decision.
Before #MarriageEquality, LGBT couples had many fewer financial protections available to them. Click To Tweet
In a July 2015 survey, Wells Fargo found that for roughly half of LGBT Americans, financial security is a huge consideration when deciding to get married. While many of the survey’s respondents also believed that marriage equality would improve the financial situation for LGBT couples, the responses also indicated that most LGBT couples don’t discuss finances before marriage, and many don’t feel prepared to make financially-informed decisions about marriage.
LGBT Finances Now
The vast majority of LGBT Americans feel more financially secure after they get married. Knowing you have legal protection when it comes to you and your spouse’s assets, benefiting from the tax breaks that come with joint filing, and the effects of combining income can have a big effect on your wallet and how you think about money. According to the Wells Fargo survey, finances are definitely at the top of LGBT couples’ minds:
- Marriage Decision – Most LGBT couples see marriage as a big financial decision, with over sixty percent of surveyed couples said being married changed how they think about, and how they’re planning for, their financial future.
- Financial Advice – Married LGBT couples are way ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring professionals to help manage money: nearly half of LGBT married couples have a financial advisor, while only 23 percent of married couples nationwide can say the same.
- Knowledge Needed – However, there are still many areas where LGBT couples need more information: over seventy percent don’t fully understand how marriage affects rights like inheriting money from a spouse or accessing pension benefits.
Half of married #LGBTcouples hire professionals to help them manage their money. #LGBTmoney Click To Tweet
Legal marriage has many financial benefits, but it also comes with obligations: married couples need to consider not only their own assets, debts, and financial plans, but how their spouse’s attitudes about money might affect their own financial planning process. Unfortunately, many LGBT couples don’t talk about money before getting married, which can negatively affect the relationship.
Financial Conversations Before the Big Day
In the months leading up to a wedding, it can be difficult to set aside time to discuss how you and your partner plan to approach finances in your marriage. Very few people, gay or straight, have these conversations prior to tying the knot, and this can cause huge problems, especially if one person makes financial decisions without discussing them with the other. According to the Wells Fargo Survey, many LGBT married couples didn’t discuss finances, even though there are many questions to consider:
- Financial Considerations – Only 25 percent of couples talked about whether getting married was a financially beneficial decision, and more than half said they weren’t well-informed on financial considerations before getting married.
- Combining Assets – Less than one third of LGBT couples talked about combining their assets and merging their accounts, and less than a quarter of the couples surveyed talked about plans for investing or saving.
- Money Conflict – One in five married LGBT couples have disagreements about finances monthly, while nearly a third have experienced tensions in their relationships when it comes to discussing money.
#MarriageEquality ensures couples' access to savings, social security benefits, and inheritance. Click To Tweet
It’s not all bad news, though: LGBT couples aren’t much worse off when it comes to financial planning than other married couples, and figuring out a financial plan becomes much easier when you don’t have to worry that your relationship won’t be legally recognized.
Financial Planning for a Healthy Marriage
In every marriage, financial issues are going to come up and sometimes cause disagreements. While arguments may be unavoidable, having a conversation before making a lifelong commitment can help ensure that whatever comes up, you and your spouse have a plan to deal with financial concerns. By fostering conversations about money early on, you can avoid surprises like finding out each of you have very different ideas about how much you should be saving or plans for retirement.
We’d love to hear from you about how gay marriage has affected how you tackle finances: do you have a financial planner, or do you and your spouse set aside some time to discuss household finances every month? How do you resolve financial disagreements? Let us know!