|[February 05, 2014]
This Valentine's Day, Say "I Do" to Putting Your Financial House in Order
BOSTON --(Business Wire)--
If you're looking for a conversation starter with your significant other
at dinner this Valentine's Day, try this: how would you like to spend
our retirement? Although that may sound unromantic, Fidelity Investments®'
fourth Couples Retirement Study finds that approximately 4 in 10 working
couples (38 percent) disagree on the lifestyle they expect to lead in
retirement. And many couples aren't just disagreeing about their future;
more than half (51 percent) admit to arguing either frequently or
occasionally about money. Of that number, 38 percent never actually
resolve their argument in a mutually agreeable way.
Even if couples rarely fight about money, that doesn't mean they are in
sync when it comes to financial priorities. The Couples Retirement Study
also reveals more than one-third (36 percent) do not both know where
important household financial and legal papers are kept, and
approximately one-third disagree about who the primary beneficiary is on
their life insurance policies (31 percent) and retirement accounts (27
percent). Furthermore, the findings reveal a great deal of confusion
when it comes to retirement matters: 32 percent of non-retired couples
disagree on the role working will play in retirement, and 38 percent
either haven't put a plan in place to manage rising health care costs in
retirement or didn't know they had to.
"The fact that many couples disagree about money isn't surprising, but
the realization so many don't actually resolve their financial squabbles
is cause for concern, " said Lauren Brouhard, senior vice president of
Retirement at Fidelity. "When it comes to making your relationship a
financial affair to remember, even the closest of couples have
opportunities to get more on the same page. Just as you plan for
everything else in life, it's important to make financial planning a
regular part of your conversations. In some ways, the greatest
Valentine's Day gift you can give is to ensure your other half is fully
equipped to keep the financial house in order, should the unexpected
Four Essential Financial Questions Every Couple Needs to Discuss
To get the conversation started, Fidelity suggests asking-and reaching
agreement on-the following financial "essentials":
Are you truly equal partners when it comes to handling the finances?
This isn't the case for everyone. However, even if one person has
assumed the role of family financial planner, it's important both are
prepared to take over as the "family CFO" if necessary, because you
never know what the future holds. A bit of contingency planning now
can help you avoid a larger problem down the road.
Do you both have a handle on the insurance and brokerage accounts? Make
sure you both know who the beneficiaries are on the life
insurance policies or brokerage accounts, because there are legal
implications if beneficiaries are not assigned. Discuss what
retirement, savings and insurance is in place, and where important
documents are located. This can help avoid family squabbles and
unnecessary tax penalties in the years ahead-and ensure greater peace
Are you jointly maximizing your savings potential? There's
power to having two become one, so make sure each of you, if eligible,
is contributing to tax-advantaged savings accounts, such as your
company's worplace savings plan or an IRA. And, make sure to allocate
your joint assets properly. Establishing and maintaining an
age-appropriate asset allocation that adjusts over time is critical to
Do you have a shared vision for what your retirement might look
like? According to the Fidelity Couples Survey, many couples
don't. Are you looking to travel the globe, or simply tend the garden
at home? Talk it over. If you are not on the same page about your
goals, it's hard to put the right plan in place.
Want to Know Where You Stand?
Fidelity offers an interactive Couples
Quiz to help couples learn more about their financial personalities.
Upon completion, a Conversation Starter guide is available to help
couples easily navigate the retirement process together. The quiz is
available for desktop, tablet and mobile users at www.fidelity.com/couplesquiz.
Fidelity also offers resources at no cost, including a Fidelity
Viewpoints article on "What
to talk about on Valentine's Day," which provides financial
conversation starters by generation. Other related Viewpoints articles
financial tips for newlyweds" and "Who
manages the money in your family?" In addition, online retirement
guidance and planning tools provide easy ways for couples to tell if
they are on track to meet goals. People can discuss short- and long-term
savings strategies with a Fidelity investment professional at one of Fidelity's
183 Investor Centers or by calling 1-800- FIDELITY (1-800-343-3548)
for a consultation.
About the Study
The 2013 Fidelity Investments "Couples Retirement Study" analyzed
retirement and financial expectations and
preparedness among 808 couples (1,616 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 May 2013. For more information,
summary and infographic
can be found on Fidelity.com.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of
financial services, with assets under administration of $4.6 trillion,
including managed assets of $1.9 trillion, as of December 31, 2013.
Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment
management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits
outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than
20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000
financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity
Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
Investing involves risk, including the risk of loss. Asset allocation
does not ensure a profit or guarantee against loss.
Fidelity Investments and Fidelity are registered service marks of FMR
Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC
900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Company, Inc.
500 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917
© 2014 FMR LLC. All rights reserved.
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