Communication about finances is one of the keys to a happy marriage, as I wrote in “7 steps to take before you wed.”
Unfortunately, most of the couples recently surveyed by Fidelity Investments are falling short, at least when it comes to their own finances.
More than half of the older, affluent couples (aged 45 and up, with incomes of $75,000 and above) surveyed said that one of the best pieces of advice they would give to newlyweds is to make all financial decisions together. But fewer than half (45 percent) of the same couples reported making decisions jointly about day-to-day finances. Only 15 percent of couples feel confident that both of them could assume responsibility for their joint finances if necessary.
These couples often weren’t on the same page about their retirement finances, either. Key findings:
- 60 percent of couples do not agree on their retirement ages
- Almost half don’t agree on whether they will continue to work in retirement
- More than 40 percent don’t agree on their expected retirement lifestyle
Time to start talking to each other and working things out. You need a plan that both of you can agree with and understand. Here are some of my columns with tips to get you going: