For LGBTQ community, family brings additional benefits and costs

John Auton-Schneider and David Auton-Schneider revealed their finances almost two years after they started dating.

Negotiations began when they were looking to buy land in Winter Park, Colorado to build a weekend home. As he planned, he realized that he could not afford to buy land, buy an existing house, or even rent.

Together, they had more than $ 50,000 in debt, even though they had more than 15 years of combined experience in financial services at the time.

John said, “It collided with a conversation, ‘Why do we know so much and are doing so little?”

John and David Auton-Schneider on their wedding day. The couple married after more than 13 years together.Studio Lemus

The couple felt that homosexuality was on the rise in gay communities that did not accept them. They played a part.

“We were using the money from the past to make ourselves feel better,” John said, adding that it was also a tool to once fit to find the gay community.

Once they addressed those issues and envisioned the future, they said – a comfortable retirement, the means to travel and the ability to give back – they were able to pay their debts and work toward other goals. They also established security for each other, such as building a trust and having health care proxy forms to unite their families.

There was also a change in career. In 2015, the couple launched debt-free Friends, a personal finance site. A year later, he also launched a podcast, Cure Money, about financial issues in the LGBTQ community.

They got married in 2017 after being together for over 13 years. While they have already taken steps to be legally recognized as partners, marriages jointly brought other benefits such as tax breaks, rights of living and access to social security benefits if a person were to die. Was.

Control over finances is important for LGBTQ individuals, as many start behind their non-LGBTQ peers. Some may not have supportive families and may incur more debt for education, may face discrimination in the workplace, may need to protect financial assets from the family, and may incur high costs associated with family building. Can experience.

John said, “Putting money aside is going to give you the freedom a lot of people don’t have, especially for LGBTQ people.” “The more money you have for your own self and safety, the more money and time and energy you can give back to the community.”

Marriage brings benefits and responsibilities

LGBTQ people face a shifting legal scenario that can add steps to financial and family planning. Until this year it was legal in some states to shoot someone for being gay or transgender, and LGBTQ couples were only legally empowered to marry in 2015.

“When you get married,” said Certified Planner Jennifer Hatch, president of Christopher Street Financial, which specializes in LGBTQ finance.

“Marrying someone you become a family of – that is very important for a very small family or hostile family of people,” Bach said.

Marriage also brings about certain responsibilities, as you legally call your partner a hatch. If you are not married, there are things that you should do to ensure that you protect each other in the event of death, disability or divorce.

As unromantic as those things are, they are important to plan for, Hatch said, especially for LGBTQ newlyweds who get older than non-LGBTQ peers when they enter into marriage. Bring more assets and potential children.

Hatch recommends that couples have a detailed plan for what should happen in the event of death or disability, including medical proxy forms and account access information. In the event of a divorce, Hatch states that couples can draw an earlier or later agreement that dictates how the property should be divided and addresses spousal support.

He said that the documents are basically in spite of the law, that is how we are going to manage the relationship.

Paternity costs more

LGBTQ people have a lot of plans for building families, which is on the rise in the community. Nearly 80 percent of LGBTQ people between the ages of 18 and 35 are already parents or are thinking about having children, according to a 2018 survey from Family Equality, a nonprofit organization that rights LGBTQ families. Aims to pursue.

According to the survey, the path to upbringing can be expensive and requires careful planning by LGBTQ families as many LGBTQ families plan to expand through foster care, adoption and assisted reproductive technology.

Jess Ventable-Novak and her partner, Dorie, are in the midst of family planning. A small married couple got married in November 2019 after starting the process of being siblings for their 7-year-old daughter, Dottie.

Venable-Novak said, “All the gifts we got for the wedding, we put them in a savings account for a fertility trip, which is non-culinary and uses the pronoun” they “. The couple has since put any extra money into a single account, such as their tax refund and Kovid-19 incentive checks. His parents have also helped with the expenses.

Jess Venable-Novak and her partner, Dory, have spent more than $ 15,000 so far in the process of getting pregnant with their second child – a brother to daughter Dottie.Courtesy Jess Weintable-Novak

So far, Venable-Novaks has spent $ 15,000 out of pocket and is not yet pregnant.

“When we started, we were not suppose to spend that much money,” said Wembley-Novak, family engagement manager for Family Equality.

The original plan was for Dory, who would take the baby, to become pregnant, through a process called intrauterine insemination. But after five failed procedures that cost about $ 7,000, the family switched to in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which is more expensive.

There are other expenses that the family is saving for the same amount of time. The couple are working on keeping $ 6,000 away so that Dory can leave work for 12 weeks after giving birth. Her job only guarantees a five-week family medical leave with short-term disability pay and the couple is adopting another parent for legal fees and paperwork.

Even though the couple lives in Vermont, where they can both be listed on the child’s birth certificate, Jess must legally adopt the child to ensure they are recognized as parents in other states is.

They are trying to get pregnant with other financial goals, including paying off and transferring credit card bills, student loan debt.

Venable-Novak said that deciding to expand his family forced him to keep a tight eye on finances and talk about his goals. “It was a moment of re-establishing and reassessment,” he said.

Benefits of being financially prepared

LGBTQ has resources available to help people in financial planning and building a family. Many employers offer benefits for employees looking to make a family, such as help with the adoption process, coverage for certain fertility treatments or surrogacy fees, and paid leave for both primary and secondary parents.

Others provide financial planning assistance, such as access to consultants or lawyers. John and David were able to see a lawyer who helped them with legal documents before getting married using workplace benefits.

Same-sex couples can also make their way when it comes to money and family, as they usually do not feel pressured to follow specific gender roles and to be on a more equal footing when it comes to relationships. Is capable of.

“You don’t have to mimic your parents and merge everything,” Hatch said, suggesting your, mine and our approach to finance. For many families, this means a system that works for them and their specific needs.

Disclosure: Investing in you: Ready. Set. to head. CNBC and Acorn is a financial wellness and education initiative from the micro-investment app. NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorn.

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