Retirement funding at risk for couples keeping each other in the dark

Retirement funding at risk for couples keeping each other in the dark

25 August 2010 / by Rachael Stiles

UK couples could be risking a comfortable retirement by failing to share information about their finances with each other.

According to new research from Prudential, one in three couples in the UK aged 40 or older, and who have not yet retired, know nothing about their partner's finances and could be facing an old age of poverty by not discussing retirement planning.

The third of couples who do not discuss their finances with each other said that they do nor know or understand the details of their partner's retirement savings; more than a fifth said they have never talked to their partner about financial planning for retirement.

One in 10 people said that they are simply not interested in their partner's finances, which Prudential suspects is compounding low levels of financial awareness.

To try and remedy this lack of communication about retirement saving, Prudential suggests some topics to break the ice with, including making a will, pensions and how much to put away for the future, deciding when to retire and how much income they will require, reviewing their savings and investments, researching annuities, checking their National Insurance contributions, housing options, potential inheritances, and long term care issues.

Commenting, Andy Brown, investments director at Prudential, said he found it "incredible" that so many people are unaware of 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," he said.

"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."

Mr Brown stresses the importance of talking about pension planning as soon as possible, because "the harder it is for couples later in life to try and get a decent financial retirement plan in place."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd