In my previous blog, I talked about the big opportunity ahead for financial advisors who provide advice and service to nontraditional couples after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
A report by the Williams Institute showed there are more than 900,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. and 23 percent of those households are raising children.
So, what are some marketing ideas for reaching nontraditional couples?
- Awareness of laws and regulations – With all the recent changes, most nontraditional couples will find their existing planning out-of-date. This is a good time to suggest a comprehensive review in light of new laws and regulations. You also can demonstrate interest in their issues by monitor events and trends. A good source is the Human Rights Campaign’s Marriage & Relationship Recognition page. Scroll down to see the most recent legislative proposals for your state.
- Network-building and referral generation – By demonstrating knowledge about planning issues important to nontraditional couples, you can tap into their extensive social and support networks. Even if you don’t choose to take a stand on political or social issues, offer to speak about planning issues and share factual knowledge with recognized networks. One fast-growing network with momentum nationwide goes by the acronym “LGBT Parenting.”
- Professional alliances – Team up with a local attorney who specializes in domestic law, adoptions and other issues involving nontraditional couples. Other professionals active in this market include child psychologists, family counselors, tax advisors and Realtors. This is an especially good time to team with a CPA who specializes in this market. One timely opportunity is the ability to receive a refund on overpaid federal income taxes from 2010-12 by filing an amended return. CPAs also can offer guidance on unresolved complexities, such as what will happen when a same-sex married couple files a joint federal return but is not recognized as legally married in the state of current residence.
- Survivorship Life Insurance – Nontraditional couples often have a strong drive to create household financial security, including a stable home environment for children. Survivorship life insurance can be purchased at affordable premiums to assure financial continuity in the event of either partner’s death. Disability income insurance also can help to strengthen the household safety net.
In summary, nontraditional couples are growing in numbers and visibility, and they have special planning needs, which can best be filled by financial professionals who understand their unique issues and opportunities. In any attractive market – from business owners to vertical industry segments – you will find some nontraditional couples. Through networks and referrals, each nontraditional couple can become a link to many more.
See also: Going beyond the quote