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The retirement taboo: why don't we discuss our finances?

A new survey reveals that couple are failing to discuss their finances with each other.


by Michelle McGagh on Dec 14, 2012 at 15:21

The retirement taboo: why don't we discuss our finances?

Dinner parties are awash with people discussing house prices and the state of the economy but why are Brits so reluctant to talk to their other halves about their financial situation?

Money is still a taboo topic in the UK (aside from the weird anomaly that is house prices), and a new survey by Prudential shows that it is even a taboo subject for couples.

We are particularly reluctant to talk about retirement with our other halves.

According to a survey of over 2,000 couples aged over 40 less than half of couples in the UK make joint retirement arrangements to ensure that when one dies their partner will have an income to live on.

Even more worryingly, one in four of couples have never discussed what happens to their pensions if one partner dies before the other and 17% of people admitted they didn’t know what their main source of income would be in retirement.

On the plus side 65% of people said they will rely on their own pension savings, but for the 7% of those who said they will be completely dependent on their partner’s pension in retirement, it is imperative that they sit down and discuss their financial situation with their other half.

As expected more women rely on their partner’s income than the other way round. Typically this is due to career breaks and subsequently breaks in pension contributions. A total of 10% of women plan to rely on their partners, compared to 5% of men.

It is easy to bury your head in the sand and keep playing the lottery in the hope that your numbers will come up, but in reality the sensible thing to do is discuss with your partner what you want your financial future to look like.

Retirement is a key area of discussion. Depending on when you give up work, you could spend two or three decades in retirement. To cover your expenses over this time you need a lot of money, and even more if the pension has to cover two people.

There is one key reason I think we don’t want to talk about retirement, because it ties in with another taboo – death. But retirement can be a long period of time and you can either spend it doing all the things you want to do with your loved ones, or bickering with your other half about whose fault it is that you didn’t save enough!

Talking of death, here's a video we made earlier this year on '5 things to make you happy about your pension'.

1 comment so far. Why not have your say?

Ian Lewthwaite

Dec 15, 2012 at 15:28

When you consider the tax arangement of the present day whereby a spouse is unable to use the other's un-used Personal Tax allowance- for reasons only known by the dickheads in Government-

Is it any wonder each partner in the union consider their own individual situation, not as a unit. If the woman stays at home to bring up the children whilst the husband is the principal breadwinner in the "family", or visa versa. One large benefit of being "married" and the inability to untilise both of the separate PA's is immediately nullified.

UK Governments talk in favour of marriage, but by their collective indifference/ignorance- destroy it. No doubt after the anarchy is all over they will say "it was'na me", assuming that they are allowed to live! Premption is not a word they can understand or even spell.

But then the whole tax system is in favour of the wealthy, who like the turkey are not going to change anything as" they are all right Jack",until they are faced with their own Spring cleanout.

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