YOUR MONEY-Couples get separation anxiety over financial planners

Tue May 31, 2016 11:09am EDT
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(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK May 31 (Reuters) - When Rick Parks and his wife Cindy got married a couple of years ago, the Knoxville couple shared a lot of things together: A home, family trips and holiday gatherings.

One thing they did not share: a financial planner.

They each had their own careers, retirement savings and financial planners - his with Charles Schwab, hers with Primerica, and they were happy with them.

"We have different investing styles - I'm more aggressive, Cindy is more conservative," says Rick Parks, 53, owner of two automotive repair businesses. "We were both in good financial positions, and just felt comfortable with our own planners."

The Parks are not alone in starting out their relationship with different financial planners. In fact, 13 percent of couples keep their own respective financial advisers, according to the 2015 Couples Retirement Study by Boston-based money managers Fidelity Investments.

It found 28 percent of couples reported keeping their financial accounts "mostly" or "completely" separate from their spouse or significant other. That was up from 20 percent of couples who did so just two years earlier.

The trend seems to be generational. The age group most likely to keep finances separate: Gen Xers, with almost a third of couples keeping their money mostly or completely apart. In comparison, only 23 percent of baby boomer couples keep their money in different pots.   Continued...