Prudential reveals 1 in 3 UK couples know nothing about their partner's finances

From: Prudential
Published: Tue Aug 31 2010

Prudential has revealed new research that shows UK couples could be risking poverty in old age because they are failing to talk to one another about financial planning for their retirement.

The study found that nearly a third of couples (32 per cent) aged 40 and above but not yet retired* say they don't know or understand the details of their partner's retirement savings, with more than a fifth (22 per cent) saying they have never talked to their partner about financial planning for retirement.

The findings from new research commissioned by Prudential reveal that women are even less likely than men to discuss financial planning for retirement with partners, with almost a quarter of women (24 per cent) saying they have never discussed this, compared to almost one in five men (19 per cent).

And a further 12 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men say they know nothing about their spouse or partner’s finances - and they're not really interested. This lack of interest could be compounding low levels of financial awareness.

To help people prepare for their retirement, Prudential has produced a decade-by-decade guide to the conversations couples need to have at Suggested subjects include making a will, discussing pensions and how much to save, talking about when to retire, working out retirement income, reviewing total savings, researching annuity options and when to buy, checking National Insurance contributions, talking about housing options, leaving an inheritance, and agreeing on long term care.

Andy Brown, investments director at Prudential, said: "It is incredible that so many people do not know the details of their partner's retirement savings. Essentially, this could mean millions of UK adults are banking on hope as their core retirement strategy and are approaching what is arguably the most important financial decision without a full understanding of their household financial situation.

"It's astonishing that one in 10 men and women say they're not interested in their partner's retirement savings arrangements. Firstly, couples should strive to have open conversations with one another but they also should aim to be constructive and use these conversations to begin laying the foundations for their retirement planning. The reason this is so important is because the longer retirement planning goes unresolved the harder it is for couples later in life to try and get a decent financial retirement plan in place."

When asked about their spouse or partner's finances, those in the North admitted to having the lowest levels of awareness or understanding while those in the South East and East Midlands claimed to have a much better grasp.

Affluence plays a critical part in the extent to which couples talk to each other. Almost three-quarters (73 per cent) of those surveyed who said they had discussed financial planning for retirement with their partners within the past year have a household income of more than £70,000 per annum while half (50 per cent) of those surveyed have a household income of less than £20,000 per year.


Notes to Editors:
*Survey conducted by Research Plus between 6–14 July 2010 among 1,172 UK adults aged 40+ currently living with their spouse or partner. The research used an online methodology.

About Prudential:
"Prudential" is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial products including annuities, life assurance, bonds, pensions, investments, a tax calculator and pension guide. Registered Office at Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered number 15454. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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