Prudential has revealed that fifteen per cent of Britons over the age of 40 and living with their partner choose to keep some or all of their savings hidden from their other halves.
The survey, which examines couples' attitudes to financial planning, was conducted among savers over the age of 40 and living with a partner. It found that as many as 4.5 million* Britons could be concealing savings or investments worth an average of £1,037 from their spouse or partner - a secret stash of approximately £4.6 billion.
One in ten (9 per cent) of those choosing to keep their funds hidden do so because they don't trust their other half's financial decision making, while a further quarter (23 per cent) admit that this is a security measure, in case they should split up with their partner.
Women are more likely to keep their funds hidden from their partner, with 18 per cent admitting to hiding savings averaging £1,002. This compares with 12 per cent of men, who conceal an average fund of £1,072.
A prudent two in five (42 per cent) secret savers plan to use the money to supplement their retirement income - even though 20 per cent of those surveyed admit to never having discussed financial planning for retirement with their spouse or partner.
Vince Smith-Hughes, head of business development at Prudential, said: "By harbouring secret stashes of money, many couples are failing to plan sufficiently for their joint retirement. While it is understandable that some people in relationships want to be able to spend their own money, it is important for couples to have regular and open discussions about financial planning for the sake of maximising their retirement incomes. Only then can they decide how to make the best possible joint provision for the future.
"Consulting a financial adviser together is an important part of this on-going dialogue and can help couples to secure the income and lifestyle they expect in retirement."
Prudential's survey also found that nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of Britons feel uncomfortable about discussing financial matters with their partner. While two thirds (67 per cent) of couples say they have not received professional financial advice together in the past five years, one in 10 people claim that either they or their partner has independently visited an adviser within the past five years.
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Note to Editors
- Research by Vision Critical, on behalf of Prudential, was conducted among a sample of 2,003 people, including 501 retired, 324 semi-retired and working part-time, and 1,178 aged 40+ working full-time and living with their partner/spouse.
- According to ONS statistics there are 30,003,700 people in the UK aged 40+. Numbers included in this release have been calculated using this base figure.
*15 per cent of those polled said that they have savings and investments that they started without the knowledge of their partner. Assuming a representative sample, 15 per cent of the UK population over the age of 40 is approximately 4.5 million.
'Prudential' is a trading name of The Prudential Assurance Company Limited, which is registered in England and Wales. This name is also used by other companies within the Prudential Group, which between them provide a range of financial services including retirement planning, life assurance, and advice on pensions.
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