Financial Advice for Same-sex Couples

2018-03-01
We all benefit from a second opinion from someone committed to our best interests We all benefit from a second opinion from someone committed to our best interests

Equality and freedom from discrimination are fundamental human rights that belong to all people, regardless of who they love or how they identify

The road to anywhere meaningful does seem to take a while and this has been true for many in Australia's LGBT community.

  • On 1st August 2013, the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 was amended to make discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status against the law.
  • On the 9th December 2017, the Marriage Act 1961 was amended to recognise marriage as 'the union of two people to the exclusion of all others voluntarily entered into for life.’

So now marriage equality is law in Australia, what do same-sex couples need to know when it comes to organising their shared financial lives together?

7 Financial decisions same-sex newlyweds need to make

The Free eGuide from Sapience

While LGBT people are as diverse as the rest of the population, their shared experience of discrimination creates common financial issues. The problem doesn't lie with LGBT people, but with the attitudes and behaviours of the society around them.

  • Research shows LGBT people have reduced access to both health services and relevant discrimination free, financial advice.
  • The constant pressure of dealing with the homophobia of others makes avoidance of getting detailed financial advice relatively common.

Unique problems faced by many LGBT couples

While not relevant for everyone, many couples report similar experiences.

  • Each partner may have differing levels of support from their own biological families
  • Each partner may have a different level of comfort about being out 
  • This imbalance can feel particularly uncomfortable when it comes to speaking with their biological family or considering speaking with a Financial Adviser
Almost half of all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people hide their sexual orientation or gender identity in public for fear of violence or discrimination 1 Many never tell their financial adviser they have a same sex partner.

Good financial advice is about families, relationships and priorities

Not being able to talk about the needs of your same-sex partner or your family risks your quality of advice and its relevance to you.

  • Many LGBT people understandably feel uncomfortable telling an unknown financial adviser they have a same-sex partner or discussing what the specific needs of their same-sex family are.
  • Many LGBT people fear they may need to ‘come out’ during the financial interview process, then have to deal with the homophobia of others, then wonder if they'll receive less favourable treatment as a result.

There has to be a better way.

An uncomfortable truth about many financial advisers

While many financial advisers like to claim they ‘treat everyone the same’, this usually means they treat everyone as heterosexual.

Members of the broader LGBT community don't need special treatment, but they do need access to relevant, high-quality financial advice that’s judgement and discrimination free.

Be the change you want to see in the world

So we made a detailed, free (and fabulous) educational eGuide designed especially for same-sex newlyweds called 7 Financial decisions same-sex newlyweds need to make

The eGuide covers the 7 key financial decisions every same-sex couple needs to make

 

  1. Learning how to budget as a couple
  2. Calculating your new joint financial net worth and credit history
  3. Financially protecting those who matter the most to you
  4. Getting your emergency support and estate planning documents finally sorted
  5. Deciding how you want to live financially as a couple for the next 12 months
  6. Starting to regularly talk about your family money matters as a couple
  7. Updating your beneficiary details in your life insurance and superannuation

We celebrate all families are different

Just as every new couple will need to learn new ways to navigate their shared financial journey together, so it’s just as important for same-sex couples to have their own Financial Adviser who understands them and their families.

So this is why we created our free gift to the LGBT community.

The eGuide 7 Financial decisions same-sex newlyweds need to make is now available to download here.
This blog article first appeared on sapience.com.au the professional advisers behind unusualrisks.com.au

Data Source: Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University, note 7, p 46.

Drew Browne

Drew specialises in helping people protect and provide for what matters most in their lives. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His company Sapience Financial and Investment Services is committed to using business solutions for good in the community, is a member of the international B1G1 Business for Good Giving Community and in 2015 certified as a B Corp. In 2017 Drew was recognised in the inaugural Australian Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow national awards. Drew writes for successful Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs at Smallville, his blogs can be read on Amazon.com and you can connect with him on LinkedIn.