My roommates recently married in February of this year. Since then, I've seen these two men pour over accounts, mortgages, loans, deeds, and everything else associated with finances. Sometimes it has seem very frustrating as well as rewarding. Here it is a half a year later and I think most everything has been settled. They are of course happy with each other and their lives together as a married couple, but as of just last week, they finally seem like they're very content with all of the paperwork that comes with joining two lives together.
Marriage is a big decision, not only for the heart, but for the wallet, too. How are same-sex married couples doing when it comes to the matter of money and this fairly new thing called marriage equality?
Same-sex couples have definitely taken advantage of marriage equality to tie the knot. It is important to get a better understanding of how marriage can impact your finances.
A new study by Wells Fargo found that “one year after marriage equality, same-sex couples have experienced a positive shift in their overall quality of life.” According to the survey results, 75% feel marriage makes them more confident in planning for their future, 83% said it’s now easier to live openly as a LGBT person, 67% believe marriage made their relationship better, and 62% stated it will improve their financial future.
However, only 32% of survey participants said they have a full understanding of the financial benefits or potential downsides of marriage. – wiremagazine.com
WireMagazine contributor Rafa Carvajal recently sat down with John Lake, LGBT segment manager at Wells Fargo. Their discussion was about the above findings as well as gathering any advice Lake may have to LGBTers looking to marry and how they could maximize the benefits of marriage and minimize any financial anxiety they may have.
Here are some of the questions from the interview. Some are a little more about Wells Fargo policies and practices, but others focus on the survey results as well as Lake's own personal life.
RC: What do you think are the most important insights from the Wells Fargo survey of LGBT Americans?
JL: One of the most important insights was that 75% of survey respondents planning to have kids shared concerns over the cost of conceiving or adopting a child. It shows that the financial considerations of parenting – even before the child is in the home – might discourage potential LGBT parents from starting a family.
RC: How do the financial needs of LGBT customers differ from those of heterosexual customers?
RC: Based on your experience getting married to your husband Chris, what advice would you give to other LGBT couples on how to maximize the benefits of marriage and navigate the financial anxiety same-sex couples still experience around certain issues unique to our community and relationships?
RC: How has marriage equality improved your life?
JL: More than half of the same-sex married couples surveyed (67%) say marriage made their relationship better, and 62% believe it will improve their financial future. I feel more secure knowing that my relationship is recognized by the law. But I also feel like I am now so much more open and honest about my relationship. Describing Chris as my “husband” implies so much more than “partner” – and unambiguously defines what we mean to each other. – wiremagazine.com
You're more than welcome to go over to wiremagazine.com and read the entire Q & A.
Have you gone to your financial institution to ask them about your gay money?
Does your bank have separate programs for LGBTers?
Do they market to the LGBT community?
If you're a part of a married LGBT couple, have you seen a difference when it comes to finances?