Experts often tell us “never keep secrets in a relationship” and “the key to any successful relationship is open communication.” So why is it, according to Fidelity Investments fifth Couples Retirement Study, four out of ten (43%) of today’s couples cannot correctly estimate how much their spouse earns? Furthermore, of those, 10% get it wrong by $25,000 or more.
Why are so many couples missing the mark when it comes to this most basic aspect about their financial lives? Are they keeping secrets, or, could it simply be a lack of communication is causing the disconnect? And what other surprising knowledge gaps exist between couples that are threatening to cause cracks in the foundation of their financial household?
A few more findings from the study that might surprise you:
- An overwhelming majority of couples (72%) say they communicate exceptionally or very well when it comes to financial matters,
- Yet more than a third (36%) of couples disagreed on the amount of the household’s investible assets too.
- And nearly half had “no idea” how much they will need to save to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement.
Are you on the same page as your significant other when it comes to financial matters? If you haven’t checked, maybe the time is now.
About John Sweeney: John Sweeney is Executive Vice President, Retirement & Investing Strategies at Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries
About the Study The 2015 Fidelity Investments “Couples Retirement Study” analyzed retirement and financial expectations and preparedness among 1,051 couples (2,102 individuals). Respondents were required to be at least 25 years old, married or in a long-term committed relationship and living with their respective partner, and have a minimum household income of $75,000 or at least $100,000 in investable assets. This online, bi-annual study was launched in 2007, and is unique in that it tests agreement of both partners in a committed relationship on communication, as well as their knowledge of finances and retirement planning issues. Fidelity Investments was not identified as the sponsor. GfK’s Public Affairs & Corporate Communications division executed the study, which was fielded in April 2015. For more information, a fact sheet and infographic can be found on Fidelity.com.
About Fidelity Investments Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.2 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of April 30, 2015, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 24 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 41,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.