Married couples may swear until death do us part, but they secretly hide savings and debts from each other.
One in five partners confess that their partners do not know how much they earn.
While squirrelling away cash and keeping quiet about their debts, these partners not only display a lack of trust, but also hurt their finances by missing out on tax breaks.
An astonishing one in three partners have secret savings or investments they have deliberately kept hidden from their loved ones, says the research by financial firm Prudential.
And the researchers uncovered that 7% of couples aged 40 or more than £50,000 tucked away.
Lack of trust
Besides the 21% who hide their cash, a similar number (19%) also have debts their partners know nothing about.
The study revealed a lack of trust in whether a relationship was likely to last was the main reason for 10% of people to keep secret savings.
A third had no plans in mind for the money they had saved behind their partner’s backs, but just felt better knowing their partner could not put their hands on all their cash.
Another 22% had no confidence in the way their partner handled their money, so kept quiet about their savings to retain control of their savings.
The research found 44% of secret savers say their earnings are more than their partner thinks, while one in four have investment income their partners do not know about.
Open and honest conversations
Kirsty Anderson, retirement income expert at Prudential said: “Saving money is always a good idea but doing it so you are protected in the event of a relationship breaking down means missing out on potential tax benefits.
“At any stage of a relationship it is important to have open and honest conversations about finances, but it becomes especially relevant when approaching retirement as decisions made then will impact the rest of your life. Paying off debts in retirement can have a serious negative impact on how far your pension savings go, so have the conversation now and try to clear these debts while you are still working.
“Couples approaching retirement should consider speaking to a financial adviser about their income and working out a plan for funding their lifestyle. It is vital to open up with each other about any secret savings or debt in advance though!”