Money Is Still A Taboo Subject For Couples In Retirement


Money is a taboo topic for tens of thousands of retired couples who keep financial secrets from their partners.

Rather than paint a rosy picture of endless days on the beach, golf course or cruise ships, two out of three retirees warn they worry endlessly about their finances.

The revelations come from the Interactive Investor Great British Retirement Survey 2019.

Financial secrets and lies

After speaking to more than 10,000 people approaching or in retirement about their attitudes and experience of life after work, researchers found:

  • More than half of people do not realise how much debt their partner has
  • One in three do not know how much their partner earns
  • One in 10 women lie about the price of what they buy, compared to just 4% of men
  • One in three couples talk about money just once a month
  • Although 35% of people cite leaving an inheritance as important, only 25% have made a will and 70% have no Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Only 17% of women and 30% of men believe they can afford to retain their standard of living after retirement
  • 52% reckon they will keep on working after reaching state pension age
  • Men are twice as likely to work in retirement because they enjoy their jobs, while twice as many women than men will keep working because they cannot afford not to
  • One in six regret not starting a pension earlier, while one in three feel they could have saved more for retirement

Women suffer more financial woes

Moira O’Neill, head of personal finance at Interactive Investor, said: “This survey presents a more nuanced picture of what retirement looks like in Britain. Holidays and travel, and having more time for friends, family, hobbies and voluntary work, are all top priorities for both men and women – but there are some big secrets too.

“It’s not just financial uncertainty, either – 70% of retired respondents have no lasting Power of Attorney, which can wreck real havoc if unexpected health issues crop up. Many of our retirement priorities take significant planning and, overwhelmingly, this research finds that peace of mind, not running out of money, and having enough money to leave behind to children are all top objectives. Many want to have their cake and eat it – but it is women who are more likely to be left with just the crumbs.”

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