Married vs. Unmarried for Retirement Years


There were two identically situated same-sex couples: they had the same amount of money, invested identically, and spent identically too.  There was only one big difference: the first couple did not read Retire Secure! For Same-Sex Couples and plan for their future using our advice, but the second couple did.

The first couple’s plan:

  1. don’t get married
  2. take Social Security at age 62
  3. don’t make Roth IRA conversions
  4. don’t use our IRA and estate planning strategies (they can’t without marrying)

The second couple’s plan

  1. get married (in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage)*
  2. use the “Apply and Suspend” strategy at age 66 for Social Security
  3. make a series of Roth IRA conversions
  4. use our recommended IRA and estate planning strategies for married couples

Here is the difference in their future finances using reasonable assumptions.**




Using the proactive strategies explained in this book, our legally married same-sex couple (the blue line) enjoys a comfortable retirement, and still has $1,427,275 at age 90. The unmarried same-sex couple, who didn’t take our advice, runs out of money at age 90.

There are fantastic opportunities for same-sex couples to increase their wealth, cut their taxes, and dramatically increase their financial security and the financial security of their surviving spouse/partner. These opportunities are only available because of the new laws on same-sex marriage that were passed in 2013. This is new territory for same-sex couples—finally, you can take advantage of some of the same long-term planning strategies that have always been available to straight couples.  But, this also means that you can now make the same mistakes that straight couples frequently make, and some of those mistakes could have disastrous consequences for your surviving partner/spouse.

Retire Secure! For Same-Sex Couples – James Lange, (pages 9-11) 412-521-2732



Whitewood vs. Wolf – Historic Victory for Civil Rights in Pennsylvania

Same-Sex Marriage, Pennsylvania Law, James Lange, Lange Financial Group, LLCWhitewood vs. Wolf represents an historic victory for civil rights in Pennsylvania. Now Pennsylvania same-sex couples can get married in Pennsylvania and not only enjoy all the traditional benefits of marriage, but also the financial benefits of marriage.

Windsor gave all same-sex married couples the unlimited marital deduction for federal estate tax purposes. Revenue Ruling 2013-17 gave all same-sex couples equal income tax treatment. Whitewood gives PA same-sex couples the right to marry in PA and have their out-of-state legal marriage recognized in PA.

From an economic standpoint, social security spousal benefits which can easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars over time, is a new economic right for same-sex married couples. Marital equality is economic justice.

– James Lange
CPA / Attorney