Personal finance can feel especially challenging for members of the LGBTQ+ community, who have faced exclusion and discrimination from their families and from financial and government institutions.
According to an analysis by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, gay men make their straight peers about 69 cents on the dollar and gay men earn their straight peers about 89 cents on the dollar. And this pay and wealth gap is huge for queer and trans people of color.
Still, financial advisors and planners can help LGBTQ+ people navigate the tough financial questions they may be facing.
Find a Consultant Who Takes Your Needs Seriously
For San Diego-based certified financial planner Marcy Baer, financial planning “starts with creating a safe space for each client so you are able to communicate your life story.”
Barr wants customers to know what it was like growing up, how a client’s family talks about money, who the customer loves and who they support financially. These details are especially important for LGBTQ+ people, who may or may not be identified with their family of origin.
“If you don’t have your own financial and legal home, the wishes of your family can come and make decisions that exclude the people you love and leave behind” emergencies, illness or death. In this case, CFP Cat Howerton says .
Finding an advisor who is both culturally and financially competent can help you identify and execute on your financial and life goals, whether it is to pay off credit and student loan debt, or finance your transition.
Know financial advice for every income level
It is a common misconception that you need to be rich to need a financial planner. In fact, financial counseling and planning can be a tool to help LGBTQ+ families and communities achieve their goals, protect them amidst the challenges of changing and isolating personality and family security, and ( Potentially) could reduce the funding gap.
While there are many more LGBTQ+ individuals than LGBTQ+ financial planners, financial counselors and planners affiliated with the community are immersing themselves in the cultures and demographics they want to serve. They can help you pay off debt, finance a medical procedure, and invest for retirement.
financial advisor Help you with everything from learning wealth management and making financial goals to accessing tax credits, public aid agencies, and helping you manage debt. This is especially important because members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to live in poverty, experience homelessness, and face discrimination and violence, including from their families of origin.
For the long term, a certified financial planner can assist in creating a comprehensive financial plan. CFPs have rigorous financial certifications and are fiduciary, which means they are required by law to act in the best interests of their clients.
Identify an LGBTQ+ Financial Aide
To find a financial advisor or financial planner near you, you can start by searching your local Chamber of Commerce or National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce To see if you have a financial advisor.
However, if you’re not out yet, or aren’t comfortable using a planner that you can run into at the grocery store, online or remote financial planning can help connect you with a member or colleague of the LGBTQ+ community. Is.
Finding a financial planner who understands specific financial needs and situations can significantly improve your financial outlook, according to Dasart Yarnaway, co-founder of Onyx Network, a platform that supports underrepresented financial advisors.
“From a money perspective, alone you go faster, together you can go a long way,” Yarnaway says of partnering with a financial advisor.
Make sure your wishes are honored
Once you have found a financial advisor or planner, the following financial, health and legal tools can help ensure that your wishes are fulfilled in the event of an emergency or death.
Advance directives designate someone to act on your behalf in medical decisions if you are no longer able to communicate, such as during end-of-life care.
If you are unable to do so in matters ranging from healthcare and wealth management to doing business on behalf of the company, a power of attorney allows someone else to make decisions on your behalf.
A will give details of issues such as guardianship of children, funeral arrangements and distribution of assets.
A trust ensures that your assets go to the intended people (with tax benefits).
These are especially important for LGBTQ+ individuals and families who are not legally married, says Chicago-based CFP candidate Kirsten Peschek.
“If clients are not interested in getting married, which is perfectly acceptable in relationships, we need to think about estate planning: that they inherit the home, have the ability to make health decisions and that Make sure the law and family members don’t get in the way,” Peschek says.
Legally formalizing your financial, health, and other wishes is especially important for children of LGBTQ+ people who may not be biologically related to their parents.
More from NerdWallet
Alieza Durana writes for NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.