Differences over financial planning can cause tension in marriages: Survey

Differences in financial planning approaches can create tension between married couples here, according to a recent survey.
Differences in financial planning approaches can create tension between married couples here, according to a recent survey. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Differences in financial planning approaches can create tension between married couples here, according to a recent survey.

It found that 35 per cent of married individuals said they discuss everything and make joint financial decisions with their spouse, but 90 per cent said there were disagreements about half the time.

The key points of contention tend to be holiday expenses, buying big- ticket items, such as cars, and the allocation of investments and savings.

The survey, commissioned by insurer AIA Singapore and conducted in the first quarter of this year, also found that men and women differ in their approaches when it comes to managing a financial portfolio.

Men are more inclined to invest, while women prefer to save.

On average, women allocate 41 per cent of their financial portfolio to savings compared with 35 per cent for men.

Men are more inclined to invest, while women prefer to save.

Men tend to allocate more of their portfolio to equities - 32 per cent compared with 25 per cent for women.

The survey, which had a sample size of 524 Singaporeans aged 25 to 45 with annual incomes from $60,000 to $600,000, noted that while men allocate 27 per cent of their monthly income to investment, women allocate 23 per cent.

The top deterrent to investing for men was market volatility, with 49 per cent citing it as a worry.

The risks involved in investing and insufficient funds to get started were also cited.

On the other hand, the top concern discouraging women from investing was the risk involved, with 51 per cent pointing to it as a deterrent. Market volatility was a key concern for 47 per cent, while 37 per cent complained that investing was "too complicated to understand".

Both genders said they would be more motivated to invest if they had some form of guaranteed returns.

When asked what they believed would help them better plan their finances, respondents highlighted access to professional financial advice, as well as easy-to-understand information and investment guidelines.

And, while Singaporeans' portfolio allocations and concerns vary across gender, the top financial concerns among those surveyed were increasing costs of living and healthcare, and the financial strain of caring for their ageing parents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 17, 2016, with the headline 'Differences over financial planning can cause tension in marriages: Survey'. Print Edition | Subscribe