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Secret savings could prove costly, claims Prudential

According to new research from Prudential, many couples are risking their financial futures by hiding savings, investments, debts and even income from one another.

The survey, which focused on couples aged over 40, showed that 22% were putting the couple’s comfortable retirement at risk by keeping debts of £7,800, on average, concealed from their other halves.

Additionally, 26% admitted to keeping a stash of money secret from their partner, with an average secret savings pot of £4,000. Approximately 20% say their secret stash is to pay for something specific in the future, such as a car or a dream holiday, while 22% are keeping their money hidden to help fund their retirement.

Around 13% have never told their partner what they earn, while 10% claim their partner has a false impression of their earnings, with an even split between overestimating and underestimating.

Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential, said: “Many people may have perfectly valid reasons for keeping a stash of savings or personal debts secret from their other halves. However, these financial secrets could pose a serious risk to a couple’s future retirement income.

“For example, if a couple reach retirement with savings that are secret from one another they may have missed out on years of tax relief that they would have been entitled to if the money had been invested in a pension. Meanwhile, making repayments in retirement on an unexpected debt will have an obviously negative impact on a couple’s income.

“Having those potentially awkward conversations so that both partners get a full understanding of their joint financial circumstances is an important first step for a couple planning for a comfortable retirement.”

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