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Money is the Biggest Relationship Hurdle for 1 in 4 Couples, Survey Reveals

From daily spending habits to saving for retirement, couples in committed relationships often don’t align on basic financial matters.

By Shalene Gupta, Fast Company (TNS)

Two forces move the world: love and money. Fidelity Investments surveyed 1,794 couples over the age of 18 in committed relationships to examine what happens when you combine them. Here are some of the key findings.

  • Talking about money is challenging: More than 1 in 4 couples say money is their greatest relationship challenge. More than 1 in 4 also say that they are frustrated by their partner’s habits but don’t bring it up because they don’t want to cause a fight. Meanwhile, 45% say they argue about money occasionally if not more often, and over a third say they disagree about their family’s next big savings goal.
  • Most couples have one person take the lead: 29% of men say they take the lead on making day-to-day financial decisions compared to 21% of women, while 31% of men say they take the lead on investing and retirement planning compared to 16% of women. Over half of women say their partner understands investing better than they do, but only 31% of men say the same.
  • Retirement seems dicey: Seven in 10 couples have the same vision for retirement, but over half don’t agree on how much money they need to fund retirement. Nearly half of couples expect they’ll have to work part-time through retirement and 20% believe that at least one partner will have to continue working to cover living expenses.

“Money conversations can be daunting for couples, especially when they have competing priorities or different visions for how they should be spending, saving, and investing,” said Meredith Stoddard, vice president, education at Fidelity Investments. “Open lines of communication are the building blocks to any successful partnership.”


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