Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cohabitation: Financial Planning for Gays and Lesbians, a Blog

Thanks to Google News Alerts I learned of Queercents. This blog describes itself as follows:

As gays and lesbians writing about money, we’ve grown weary of reading all the personal finance content that’s written from the perspective of straight marriages. So at Queercents, we’ve turned the tables on money and relationship advice by asking: What if all of our favorite money columnists were gay? Would their advice be more relevant to our lives?

We think the answer is yes! And as such, this is our weekly series called In Search of Gay Money where we reprint their advice by swapping out pronouns and a few other words to make it seem like everyone is queer!

More importantly, the site has a very good article on the problems of cohabitation in In Search of Gay Money: Six Money Mistakes of the Newly Partnered. Since Indiana has neither civil unions or gay marriage, cohabitation is the only alternative for Indiana's gays and lesbians. What I am seeing is six tips with some seriously good advice written in wickedly good style (i.e. not as dull as dust) that might make you pay attention even though I am picking out only the sixth for this post.

6. Failing to plan for an emergency
No one likes to think about bad things happening, but in all the excitement of your fresh love and moving in together, it’s easy to overlook this important aspect of financial planning. One of the best gifts you and your partner can give each other is financial security and protection from life’s storms.

First, assess your emergency stash of cash. Every couple should have enough money available to cover three- to six-months worth of living expenses. You never know when the car will break down, one of you will lose a job or you’ll have an unexpected medical bill. Learn more about how to build your financial foundation and where to keep the money.

Then, you need to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage, including health, auto, renters or homeowners, and possibly life insurance. Learn more about the types of insurance everyone should have, and how to get the appropriate coverage.

Did you move in together without a cohabitation agreement? It’s not too late to protect the financial interests each partner brought to the relationship. Consider drafting an agreement with your lawyers. Plus, make sure you each have written a will to divide your assets in the event of your death.

By the way, I see nothing here that does not also apply to those of us who are not gays and lesbians except that we do have the escape hatch of marriage.

Bottom line for everyone living together in Indiana who have put their financial resources on the line and who cannot or will not marry: get a cohabitation agreement now - no Indiana statute protects your interests, the Indiana common law makes it expensive to litigate.

Click your mouse on the link below on "cohabitation" or "living together" to get all I have written on the subject. Ignorance is bliss but also quite expensive.

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