Financial planning can be tricky at the best of times. For gay/bi/trans fathers, or men who are hoping to become dads, there are often some additional financial roadblocks, including insurance and legal fees.
There are also considerations like setting up emergency funds and starting smart savings accounts for your future kids.
As LGBTQ+ financial expert Matthew Erickson of Northwestern Mutual explains on the latest episode of GWK the Podcast, there are many ways gay men can save money and tackle their debt before they even delve into the world of adoption or surrogacy agency costs.
“There are actually grants and loans that are available for this kind of thing,” Matthew told GWK the Podcast host David Dodge. “The first thing to remember is, beyond going into and being able to afford the process, what is happening after you’ve adopted the child? There also has to be long-term planning.”
From agency fees to health insurance, the upfront costs of starting a family as a gay man can sometimes be off-putting. But as Matthew explained on GWK the Podcast, gay, bi and trans men can also consider raising money to save for starting a family.
“When you think about talking to family, this is not about asking them [for money,] this is about inviting them into the celebration of what creates this family,” he said. “And people want to be a part of that, it’s a beautiful thing.”
When it comes to managing debt payments before the arrival of a baby, Matthew said it’s important to remember that not all debt is bad; mortgages and credit cards can and should be dealt with differently.
First, Matthew said it’s a good idea to have a plan for paying down the credit cards with the highest interest rates. That should be the initial step to get comfortable with your current financial situation. Next, he said work with a professional to develop a long-term plan that takes into account the daily costs of raising a child.
“We’re thinking about things like; how do we create a fund that is for the child if education is important to you?” he asked. “The earlier you start, the better.”