United in Finances

Understanding Same-Sex Couples’ Finance

In the groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling of the year 2015, Obergefell v. Hodges brought forth the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in all fifty states of the US. This transformative decision sparked key revisions in numerous domains, including finance. Nonetheless, same-sex couples continue to navigate a unique financial landscape, replete with hurdles that many financial blogs do not delve deeply into.

Distinct Financial Hurdles for Same-Sex Couples

According to a UBS Investor Watch report, same-sex couples shoulder distinct financial worries compared to their heterosexual counterparts. These concerns span across arenas such as retirement funding, estate design, and financial security for their partners. Although in this day and age, the legal provisions lay on the table, grasping their depth and scope could prove a daunting task for many.

Retirement Funding Concerns

Same-sex couples often express heightened concerns about retirement security. A study by Prudential found that 47% of same-sex couples apprehend they will outlive their retirement savings, compared to 35% of heterosexual couples. The data further highlights that 44% of same-sex couples express anxieties about medical expenses during retirement, compared to 36% of heterosexual couples.

These elevated worries are likely fostered by several factors, such as:

  • Lower average household earning with only 25% of same-sex couples earning more than $100,000 annually, compared to 38% for opposite-sex couples, as the Census Bureau reports.
  • Limited access to spousal social security benefits resulting from shorter periods married, as outlined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Financial Planning and the Benefits of a CPA

Although the federal recognition of same-sex marriages simplified certain aspects of financial management, financial planning for same-sex couples often demands complex strategy creation. This is due to the diversity of legal policies on issues relating to marriage, domestic partnerships, and civil unions across different states. This situation underscores the invaluable role of trusted financial professionals like DeFreitas & Minsky LLP, a firm of certified public accountants based in NY.

With a professional CPA, key financial areas such as tax planning, financial management, estate planning, and insurance requirements can be deftly handled to ensure optimal financial growth, stability, and security.

Addressing Insurance Needs

Insurance needs of same-sex couples resonate as another critical consideration. Health insurance stands out, with seventeen percent of same-sex couples not having any form of health insurance compared to 11% of their heterosexual counterparts, reports the Williams Institute. Life insurance, especially, presents another critical area that needs meticulous planning.

Legacy Planning and Estate Design

Legacy planning is another vital area where same-sex couples may require counsel from financial professionals. It is important to note that without a comprehensive estate design, assets could end up being held up in probate, denying the surviving spouse immediate access. In addition, the matter of inheritance tax, which is levied on a state level, adds another layer of complexity.

Efficient legacy planning ensures that assets and wealth get transferred to the designated recipient seamlessly and with minimal tax implication. Working with a knowledgeable CPA helps same-sex couples strategically align their estate plan to match their financial and family goals, sidestepping potential legal and financial snags along the way.


In conclusion, navigating the financial landscape as a same-sex couple undoubtedly comes with a unique set of challenges. The situation gets further complicated with continually evolving laws and policies. However, with specialized, knowledgeable guidance from an experienced, certified public accountant like DeFreitas & Minsky LLP, same-sex couples can confidently steer their finances in a direction that keeps them united in their financial goals and aspirations. The power to attain financial security, stability, and prosperity is, in fact, well within reach and should be exercised to the full.

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