Life Partners Deserve Life Planning

There are times when everybody needs a little motivation to plan for the future, but when you live in a situation that is outside the “norm” it’s even more important to think and to plan ahead. A little motivation to plan for retirement is exactly what many same-sex couples need, according to this study published in Cornell News, at Cornell University.

When Cornell researchers Steven Mock, Catherine Taylor, and Ritch Savin-Williams analyzed data from interviews with men and women in same-sex relationships they found that gay and lesbian couples have a slightly greater tendency than straight couples to put off planning for retirement.  Interestingly, the amount of retirement planning a couple will do is directly proportional to how happy they are in their relationship.

It’s not surprising that the more satisfied a couple is the more willing they are to look to the future, but the reality is that same-sex couples will have enough challenges in their futures, and can’t afford not to plan. The authors of the Cornell study note that “Nearly all state and federal legislation assumes gay and lesbian life partners to be individuals and not economically interdependent as married couples are assumed to be. This lack of recognition of same-sex couples has repercussions in terms of retirement and financial planning.”

This means that same-sex couples not only have to be diligent about their individual financial and retirement planning, but also about planning together. Because same-sex couples will not have the same tax status, or options for transfer of property upon death as traditionally married couples, it is essential that they make provisions for their partner with their estate and retirement plans. 

“It would be a tragedy of immense proportions if same-sex couples who have been together for decades discover at the end of their life that they have few resources to enjoy their retirement and their last years of life,” notes Ritch Savin-Williams in the article mentioned above. But it is a tragedy that can be easily averted. With the help from a savvy attorney and financial planner, same-sex couples can enjoy their golden years in style; healthy, wealthy, wise—and together.