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Post-Recession Couples Most Comfortable Being Financially Naked

Jun 03, 2014

The Great Recession left many of us with a lingering sense of economic vulnerability—as we discovered in a March survey about Americans and their money—but that same anxiety seems to have brought a silver-lining with it, at least when it comes to relationships.

Couples who married post-recession appear to be tighter financial units, who are more in sync and open about their finances than those married before the recession, credit bureau Experian found in a survey released today. These couples place greater weight on having financial conversations with their spouse and are more likely to discuss purchases with their partner.

Of couples married in 2008 or later, 82% discuss financial goals with a spouse at least monthly vs. only 65% of couples married before 2008. These more recent newlyweds were also more likely to discuss small, everyday purchases with their spouse: 75% of them did as compared to 59% of couples wed prior to 2008.

These recent-marrieds are also more apt than longer-wed folks to have discussed their financial histories—including things like their credit score and bill payment—as well as larger issues like their long-term financial goals with their spouse before tying the knot.

While the economy may have spurred these couples to be more open, generational differences may also contribute, as the chart below shows.

ExperianSurveyGraphic2NOTES: Based on a nationwide survey of 1,010 married adults. SOURCE: Experian 

There's no question that being frank with your partner about your financial history and goals is crucial both before marriage and after.

But these conversations aren't easy—which may go to explain why the Experian survey also found that almost 10% of married couples have never discussed long-term financial goals or retirement savings with their spouse at all. If you're one of these couples or if you think you and your spouse could better navigate complex decisions like savings goals and determining your financial priorities, see our couples' guide to growing richer together.

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