Only Half of Engaged Couples Discuss Finances before Marriage
As engagement season comes to a close, many couples are now planning their wedding. A new survey from SunTrust and The Harris Poll shows 88% of Americans believe financial conversations are important before marriage. However, only 51% of couples actually have those discussions before walking down the aisle.
The nature of financial discussions varies by generation. Fifty-six percent of Millennial couples discuss buying or renting a home before marriage, compared to 38% of Gen X and 39% of Baby Boomers. Forty-four percent of Millennials disclose debts before marriage versus 39% of Gen X and 33% of Baby Boomers (36% of all couples).
Millennials are waiting longer to get married than previous generations, which may be why they are more prone to financial discussions. Many couples postpone getting married until they feel financially stable, with reduced debts and steady careers. The average age for getting married has increased by over six years since the 1970’s.
Other studies have shown just how important it is to talk about money in a marriage. Research from Elevate’s Center for the Middle Class showed people with sub-prime credit were 45% more likely to be divorced that those with credit scores over 700. A survey from Ramsey Solutions showed money is the top source of tension in marriages and the second most common cause of divorce. Nearly all respondents (94%) in reportedly “great” marriages discussed their financial dreams with their spouses, compared to 45% of couples “in crisis.”