Financial Planning Firms Losing Big Opportunity With LGBT Clients
BY Neal Broverman
November 19 2012 6:28 PM ET
Financial services companies are not meeting the very specific needs of LGBT customers, according to a new online survey by Prudential Financial.
According to the survey of 1,400 LGBT people, most financial planning companies are not paying attention to their needs. With discrepancies between state and federal law as well as conflicting laws between states, many respondents said they needed help wading through the mess — and they're not getting it. Estate taxes, retirement savings, and inheritance laws are all more complicated for same-sex couples. Barely 25% of those questioned in the survey said their financial needs were similar to those in the rest of society.
The dearth of specific-LGBT financial planners may have to do with the laws being so complex and varying so greatly.
"Oh my God, there are so many issues," Stephanie Lee, a planner with East Rock Financial Services in San Francisco, told Reuters. "You have to talk about benefits for surviving partners, about tax treatment for regular marriages or domestic partners, about health directives. You have to talk about divorce, and wills, and estate-tax exemptions. And some of this changes with every state. It's a lot of information, and it can get very tricky."