With the recent Supreme Court decisions relating to health care subsidies and same sex marriages, one thing is clear whether you are a financial adviser or a person seeking advice: there are new opportunities available in your planning that it would be wise to understand and perhaps to pursue.
For example, if you are one of the many persons receiving a health care insurance subsidy under the Affordable Care Act, you can now plan around the continued availability of the subsidy so long as your income does not exceed the appropriate threshold. This means that the important step of obtaining health care is made somewhat easier, cheaper and more certain than it was before the decision. Making provision for health care is central to any comprehensive financial plan.
Similarly, if you reside in a state that formerly did not recognize a same sex marriage and you wish to pursue a marriage, that obstacle is removed and you will be able to plan around your change in status and how it may affect you. The decision is far reaching in that marriage can affect your income tax burden, your access to and cost for health care, estate and gift planning, ability to act for your spouse and much more. Of course, as some have pointed out, the decision also means that we will no doubt be seeing divorce actions involving same sex couples in the future but the real point is that you will be able to have the same protections and rules for divorce as apply to other married persons.
Though some of us seem to thrive on uncertainty, knowing that same sex marriage is available in any state and that health care subsidies likewise are available in any state are certainties that eliminate potential problems and allow us to focus on other issues in our planning. The changes are a good reason to visit with your financial adviser and determine how you may be affected and what you can do to take advantage of the decisions.