When you think about things that can derail your retirement income planning, you probably worry about stock market downturns, job woes, health crises, and other types of unforeseen disaster. But there may be a hidden financial danger lurking right underneath your nose, and it might be affecting your retirement income planning already.
A recent study by CreditCards.com uncovered quite a bit of financial “cheating” – by spouses! According to the survey, about 1 in 5 Americans has made a major purchase (defined as 500 dollars or more) without first consulting their spouse. Approximately 7.2 million Americans stash money in secret bank accounts, unbeknownst to their spouse, or have undisclosed credit cards.
Most people don’t actually have ill intentions toward their spouse when they keep financial secrets. In most cases, they probably just don’t want to upset their spouse or cause a fight. But the hidden danger in this type of behavior is that it can seriously undercut your ability to stay on a reasonable budget. If you’re hiding a few things from your spouse, keep in mind that they may also be hiding a few things from you! And if you’re both spending money unaware of how much the other is spending, you could end up in a financial mess at some point. Some of the potential dangers include late charges on regular bills, lowered credit scores, and reaching retirement feeling unprepared for a realistic, pared-down budget.
If you’re hiding money from your spouse, this could be a sign that your financial values are not aligned. A couple who hopes to save money and prepare for a future together needs to be on the same page with their retirement goals.
If you’re dreading an uncomfortable conversation, keep in mind that secrets usually have a way of catching up to us. Talking about the problem now can help prevent an even more uncomfortable situation in the future. Seek the advice of a professional marriage counselor if necessary, and be ready to compromise. In the future, agree to consult with one another on financial matters, and discuss your goals with your financial advisor. Once you’re in agreement about retirement income planning goals, you can work toward a brighter future together.
14242 – 2015/3/10