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DENVER – December 17, 2012– The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) Diversity Committee today released the Diversity Software Functionality for Financial Planners Executive Summary, focused on current financial planning software and if it can support the changing demographics of Americans.

Statistics demonstrate that the number of unmarried couples who share a residence is on the rise. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of opposite-sex couples who share the same residence jumped 13 percent and the number of same-sex couples living together also increased 30 percent over a two year time frame.

Financial planners who work with unmarried couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex, have indicated that they are not having their needs met through traditional financial planning software. As a result, the Committee surveyed advisers soliciting feedback on financial planning software for unmarried couples. The majority of survey respondents indicated that they would switch to a targeted software package to help them best assist this population.:

 

  • Seventy one percent of those surveyed currently provide financial planning services to couples that are unmarried and/or in same-sex relationships and most financial planners expect an increase in same-sex couples. 
  • Fifty five percent want software that will give them accurate calculation of benefits for non-spouse beneficiaries for qualified plans and IRAs. 
  • Fifty two percent want software to allow for different drawdown percentages on a couple’s aggregated portfolio. 
  • Fifty percent want software that models the tax impact for asset transfer (estate equalization with a new couple or in the event of separation) or estate planning for unmarried and same-sex couples.

 

“The FPA Diversity Committee works to increase awareness about the diverse needs of clients and advisers,” said Lauren M. Schadle, CAE, FPA executive director and CEO. “As the financial planning profession continues to develop, FPA strives to create awareness of the need for financial planning and to foster a profession that can meet the needs of the diverse population that our members serve.”

Journalists: To obtain a copy of the research for reference, please send your request to Christine.Richardson@FPAnet.org.