Pat and Kristen Parman-Bethard Kent Then: Pat, 61, a social worker, and Kristen, 54, a nurse, partners for 20 years, faced the "gay penalty,"...
Pat and Kristen Parman-Bethard
Then: Pat, 61, a social worker, and Kristen, 54, a nurse, partners for 20 years, faced the “gay penalty,” in which unmarried couples, including same-sex partners, have to work harder to build a nest egg because they don’t enjoy all the financial benefits a married couple would, such as inheriting each other’s Social Security payments.
- Beloved Mama's Mexican Kitchen in Belltown to close
- Washington officer shoots men accused of earlier beer theft
- Paul Allen's First & Goal signs letter expressing concerns over Sodo arena
- Seattle no longer America's fastest-growing big city
- West Seattle couple leaves all their assets -- $847,215 -- to Uncle Sam
Most Read Stories
Their goal: To make up for the penalty and each retire at 66.
What they’ve done since: They’ve refinanced their mortgage, paying off a second mortgage and car loan. That saved them $800 a month. To pay off the new 30-year mortgage early, they make two extra payments a year.
They’ve doubled Pat’s retirement-plan contribution from 3 percent of her income to 6 percent, and moved it into higher-yield — though higher-risk — investments. She plans to continue increasing it as she receives raises. CDs that were earning under 2 percent were switched to ones earning at least twice as much.
Best tips they got: Keep expenses down, and save and invest more aggressively. “We’re more intentional with our investing now,” says Pat.
— Carol Tice