Editor's Note: This article is part of the Financial Advisor series "How I Solved It." Advisors describe a client with a problem and what they did to help.

Members of the LGBTQ community face many of the same financial problems that are experienced by straight couples, including money issues tied to adopting a child.

Matthew Schechner, founder and president of of Essential Advisory Services in Westbury, N.Y., had a case that illustrated this involving female partners who were clients of his.

Schechner said his firm is a "judgment free" financial planning firm that helps people from all backgrounds. With $100 million in AUM, Essential Advisory clients include traditional couples, women and members of the LGBTQ community in about equal measure.

This case involved two women, both in their 40s, who wanted to adopt a child, he said.

“As all mixes of couples have found, adopting a child can cost $50,000 and, if they decide to go the surrogacy route, it can cost as much as $200,000,” said Schechner, who has been in the financial industry since 1994 and founded Essential Advisory Services in 2018," he said.

This case, like otheors involving the addition of a child, involved hard financial choices, Schechner said.

"No one wants to take large withdrawals from retirement accounts at that stage in life, so something had to change. The women valued having a family ... and spent five years drastically trimming their expenses,” he said. “Sometimes they did not like me very much because I had to say ‘no’ a lot when they wanted to spend money on other things.”

For example, the women wanted to upgrade to a new car, take more frequent vacations, go out to nice dinners and make home renovations, Schechner said. “For other clients, it can be jewelry or clothes. The process of cutting back is an awakening for people. But when you’re planning a family later in life, you already have a strong understanding of the level of commitment that’s required. What these families need from me is guidance and advocacy.”

The couple lived in an urban area, which drove up their cost of living, he noted.

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