“The great enemy of the truth is not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” — John F. Kennedy

If you weren’t interested in personal finances, then you probably wouldn’t stop by Queercents. So when I talk about plan, plan, plan… I’m preaching to the choir. Or gay men’s chorus if that’s your inclination.

Harold L. Lustig wrote a book called, “4 Steps to Financial Security for Lesbian and Gay Couples” and he dispels 21 commonly held myths that could prevent couples from realizing financial security. He writes, “Perhaps the biggest myth is that gay and lesbian couples are always at a disadvantage compared to their straight counterparts.”

“Myth #1: I’m young, healthy, and in a solid relationship, and I have great group benefits and save regularly. I don’t have to do financial planning. Not true. Think about the following:

1. How long will your money last if your employer downsizes and you’re out of a job?
2. If your partner was hit by a drunk driver, how would your lifestyle, financially speaking, change?
3. Are you paying more taxes than you should?
4. If you were unable to work, what would you live on when your disability expired?
5. How do you want your money to be used after your death?”

Planning is key. Buy the book if you want to read more. Lustig dedicates a chapter on “protecting what’s yours” and it “covers all types of insurance and required legal documentation.” Life insurance is part of this topic. Jeanine and I bought term life insurance for the first time this year.

There are two schools of thought and I personally, subscribe to the Suze Orman view with term life insurance. She advises, “Keep it simple and buy term life insurance; it’s good only for a specific number of years and then expires. That’s okay life insurance wasn’t meant to be permanent; it’s there to protect your family before you’ve had a chance to accumulate enough funds (through investments and savings) to do so. Most people should get a 20-year level term policy that has a value equal to 20 times the amount of annual income your family needs to live securely.”

Lustig thinks differently, but that’s for you to consider with your financial planner. The Autoclub gives this overview in its latest issue of Westways magazine: “Life insurance can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones, yet many people avoid thinking about it ” or think they don’t need it. Here’s the skinny on some common misconceptions.”

1. “I don’t need it because I’m young and single. Currently, your need may not be great, but it’s wise to lock in a good rate while you’re young. Your responsibilities ” including retirement planning ” will increase in the coming years.”

2. “I’m too old. It’s true that life insurance is based on age, health, and ability to pay. But packages exist for older age groups. Other options include annuities, which offer a fixed return for a specified period of time.”

3. “I already have coverage through my employer. Keep in mind, coverage typically only lasts while you’re working. For example, if you change jobs, your benefits may be severely reduced or eliminated altogether. Because life insurance premiums are based on age and health, you may find that your future health or budget might limit your ability to secure needed coverage.”

Click over to the Autoclub website to read more.