Pride Month

June 6, 2019
Pride Month

Welcome to Pride Month! June was chosen for LGBTQ+ Pride Month to memorialize the Stonewall Riots which took place in June 1969. If you don’t know about the riots, Drunk History put together a great clip to tell you all about it here. As a result, you may hear about many pride events/festivals/parades happening this month.

Raymond James recently launched the Advisor Pride Network and I was privileged to attend one of their events at our National Conference in May. From the horse’s mouth:

The Raymond James Advisor Pride Network is dedicated to the support of clients, prospects, allies and advisors who identify within and serve the LGBTQ+ community.

And, as if I weren’t super proud already to be associated with Raymond James, here is a quote from the Raymond James CEO, Paul Reilly:

“We are continuing to evolve our approach to ensure Raymond James achieves our vision of being the premier alternative to Wall Street- most notably by continuing to live by our believe that our business is people. All people.”

Furthermore, since I’m just going to quote my way through today’s blog post, here’s a quote from the GLAAD page on allies:

LGBT people are our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. This is a fact and it isn't going away. You have the opportunity to be an ally and a friend at home, school, church and work. A straight ally can merely be someone who is supportive and accepts the LGBT person, or a straight ally can be someone who personally advocates for equal rights and fair treatment.

I’m proud to call myself an ally. And as such, today I wanted to present to you some issues to consider if you identify within the LGBTQ+ community and are thinking about your finances. Most of these do apply even if you’re a heterosexual couple and unmarried:

  • If you are a couple and don’t plan on marrying:
    • You need some sort of legal documentation to control what happens to your assets if something were to happen to you.
    • You also need to think about getting healthcare powers of attorney for each other, so if a medical issue were to occur, you would be able to talk to the doctors for one another and make decisions.
    • You can only gift each other the annual gifting limit amount without having to pay taxes on that money, whereas spouses can gift unlimited amounts to each other.
    • Not all employers offer domestic partner health coverage, so you may need to think about how you’ll pay for increased health care costs.
    • If you are lucky enough to have a pension, or some other retirement plan that offers a benefit paid to spouses after you pass away, this would not be available to a couple that isn’t married.

  • If you’re a couple and thinking of getting married, it may be worth it to talk to a CPA about tax issues.
    • If both of you work, it can cost a lot in taxes to be married based on the so-called “marriage penalty.” (Google it.)
    • If one of the partners has a child nearing college age and is considering financial aid, both incomes would have to be on the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and that will likely reduce the amount of aid the student would qualify for.
    • If your spouse gives birth to your child, you may have to legally adopt your own child if you weren’t the biological parent, in a process called “second-parent adoption,” so that it doesn’t terminate the first parent’s legal parental status.It also depends on what state you live in. Some states don’t offer all the protections, etc. that other states do, so that needs to be a consideration as well.

In general, you still need to consider life insurance, estate planning, who your beneficiaries are for your financial accounts, powers of attorney, taxes, etc. just like any other couple. You still benefit from saving for retirement and investing. Of course, everyone’s situation is unique, and it’s important to be able to share your situation with a trusted financial advisor. Having an advisor who is understanding and informed of all the issues can make a big difference.

 

Any opinions are those of Jill Carr and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

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