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The financial secrets of couples

The financial secrets of couples

Category: Money

Updated: 14/12/2015
First Published: 14/12/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Are you completely honest with your partner when it comes to your finances? If you're anything like the respondents to Prudential's latest survey, you may not be, with the results indicating that huge numbers of people hide savings, debts and even income levels from their partners.

Secret savings and hidden debts

The figures show that 10% of respondents aged 40+ have secret savings, investments and/or pension pots that their partner doesn't know about, totting up to a whopping £30,300 on average. Furthermore, 15% admitted that they have hidden debts they don't own up to, averaging £8,000 per person, while 12% of those surveyed said that their partner doesn't even know how much they earn.

While much of this could be due to the desire to retain some form of independence (27%), others hide their earnings to maintain their financial security in the case of a break up (23%) – but a generous 9% say that they use their secret earnings to treat their partner. However, whatever the reason, these findings paint a worrying picture for the state of many couples' financial futures, as dishonesty could potentially threaten the prospect of a comfortable retirement.

"Hiding such significant sums in savings or debts from a partner makes financial planning for the future very difficult," said Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential. "For example, taking unexpected debts into retirement could make a significant dent in the joint income the couple was expecting to be able to live on.

"In addition, keeping income or stashes of cash secret could mean that couples are not making the most of the pension saving tax relief or allowances available to them. A consultation with a professional financial adviser should benefit most couples in planning for their retirement, provided they are open and honest with each other about their individual finances."

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