Looking to Improve Your Marriage? Americans say having a financial plan might help

Jan 19, 2010, 06:00 ET from COUNTRY Financial

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Even with the stress from a shaky economy, many couples are on stable ground when it comes to money matters and their relationship - especially if they have a plan. A COUNTRY Financial survey of nearly 2,000 married Americans shows couples with financial plans exhibit better communication and greater trust than couples who don't.

Overall, 77 percent of married couples rate their communication about finances with their significant other as excellent or good and 68 percent say they trust their spouse to make investment decisions. However, there is a stark difference in responses when a financial plan is entered into the marital equation. On average, those with financial plans rate higher when it comes to communication and trust:

* Nearly nine in ten (88 percent) of those who have a plan rate their spousal communication about finances positively compared to 62 percent who don't have a plan.

* Seventy-six percent of those with a plan trust their spouse to make the right investment choices compared to 58 percent of those without one.

"Money can be a big source of marital contention, so we're happy to see that most Americans feel positive about how they handle finances with their spouse in the wake of tough financial times," says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY Financial. "Planning your family's financial decisions with your spouse is key, especially as your needs change due to the economy or life events."

Couples discuss finances, have few secrets

Overall, 74 percent say they jointly discuss and decide long term savings and investment strategies with their spouse.

A vast majority of Americans (88 percent) say they did not spend money on something they kept a secret last year. However, women (13 percent) were more likely to be secret spenders than men (10 percent). Significant others without responsibility in financial decision making were the biggest secret spenders last year.

For more information on Americans' sentiments about financial security, please visit www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com.

The COUNTRY Spousal Communication survey is based on a national telephone survey of 1,931 married Americans and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (www.rasmussenreports.com), an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.


COUNTRY Financial (http://www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.