One in seven couples aged over 40 have never talked about money fearing rows, embarrassment and awkwardness
07:41 GMT, 30 November 2012
As many as one in seven British couples over the age of 40 admit they have never discussed their finances with each other, a new survey has found.
Fears of sparking an argument, embarrassment and awkwardness are the main reasons why men and women in relationships shy away from talking about money with their partners, researchers said.
They discovered that 15 per cent of the
2,000 people surveyed, for insurance firm Prudential, felt uncomfortable
about talking about their financial future or plans for retirement with
Research has found men and women in relationships shy away from talking about money with their partners
Nearly one in four said money was one of the main causes of arguments and rows, coming third only behind household chores and family disputes.
Even for the those couples who did talk about their finances, discussions on their long-term plans were likely to be side-lined in favour of everyday money worries, the survey said.
Daily living costs and household bills were the biggest talking point, with more than half of couples discussing these on a regular basis, followed by the cost of home improvements, large purchases and luxuries (34 per cent).
Only 22 per cent said they talked about their savings and investments, while just 16 per cent discussed their retirement income and pension planning.
Some 15 per cent of these couples also said they never intended talking about it in the future.
Vince Smith-Hughes, a retirement expert at Prudential, said couples who refuse to talk about their finances would lose out in the long run.
Nearly one in four couples said money was one of the main causes of arguments and rows, coming third only behind household chores and family disputes
'Money can be a tough topic to discuss at the best of times,' he said.
'Many couples prefer to steer clear of conversations about finances, and especially discussions about longer-term issues like retirement which might feel light-years away.
'Yet it really pays to be honest about your financial situation. Being open about discussing long-term financial planning as early as possible will help couples to ensure they can enjoy a comfortable retirement together.'
The survey also found that just 13 per cent of couples questioned had seen a financial adviser to discuss their retirement in the past five years, with the vast majority – 66 per cent – having never consulted an expert to talk about their financial future.
Mr Smith-Hughes added: 'A joint conversation with a financial adviser should help couples make the right pension savings decisions during their working lives, so that they'll have the right income to support their lifestyles in retirement.'