Fight with your partner about money? Study shows you’re not alone

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The coronavirus pandemic forced many couples to spend more time together, but it also exacerbated some partners’ disagreements about money.

Fidelity Investments released a Couples and Money study showing that among couples aged 25 and older who manage their finances together, 33% said the pandemic increased stress over their finances.

Overall, one in five couples said money was their greatest relationship challenge, while nearly one-quarter of respondents admitted to being frustrated by their partner’s financial habits but let it go to maintain matrimonial peace.

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Among the top disagreements were the ages at which partners wanted to retire, how much they needed to save for retirement, how much risk they should take on when investing and their big savings goals. 

Nearly 40% were also unable to correctly identify how much their partner earned.

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"Openly discussing financial matters helps people feel more confident, more closely aligned, and better equipped to take on the future. For all couples, the best advice for money conversations is that it’s not a competition, so stick with it and keep the dialogue going," Stacey Watson, senior vice president of Life Event Planning at Fidelity, said in a statement.

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Despite the disagreements, a majority of partners, 71%, said they communicated at least very well with their partner.

Fidelity Investments found that those who communicate better often find themselves in a better financial position.

The study was conducted among 1,713 couples who were either married or in a long-term relationship.

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