Nearly one in three couples (31 percent) have secret savings or investments that they have deliberately started without telling their partner or spouse, with seven percent admitting to hiding savings of over £50,000, according to Prudential’s latest annual research into the retirement aspirations and financial planning of UK couples aged 40 and over.
The study found that couples do not just keep their savings secret as more than a fifth (21 percent) say their partner doesn’t even know how much they earn, while 19 percent hide debts.
A third (34 per cent) admit they have no specific plans for their secret income but just don’t want their partner to be able to access all their money, whilst nearly a quarter (22 percent) do not trust their partner to make the right decision about their finances so want to keep control.
Furthermore, 44 percent of those keeping income secrets say their basic salary is higher than their partner thinks it is, while a quarter (25 percent) have income from an investment that their partner is not aware of.
Additionally, there is a gender trust gap as the study found that men are more likely to accumulate away their savings with a third (33 percent) keeping a secret stash compared to 28 percent of women. While men and women are relatively similar in what they want to spend the money on, 15 percent of women have secret savings as security in case of a break up compared to six percent of men.
Around a third (33 percent) of all couples also want the cash for retirement, whilst 13 percent simply want to keep their savings hidden so they can buy what they want with the money.
Kirsty Anderson, retirement income expert at Prudential said: “Saving money is always a good idea but doing it so you are protected in the event of a relationship breaking down means missing out on potential tax benefits.
“At any stage of a relationship it is important to have open and honest conversations about finances, but it becomes especially relevant when approaching retirement as decisions made then will impact the rest of your life. Paying off debts in retirement can have a serious negative impact on how far your pension savings go, so have the conversation now and try to clear these debts while you are still working.
“Couples approaching retirement should consider speaking to a financial adviser about their income and working out a plan for funding their lifestyle. It is vital to open up with each other about any secret savings or debt in advance though.”
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