By Andrea Coombes
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SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- No one expects husbands and wives to agree about everything, but two recent surveys reveal that many spouses don't seem to talk to each other at all about their basic retirement plans.
Overall, the husbands and wives of about 30% of couples gave different answers when asked what age they each will retire, their expected lifestyle in retirement and whether they'll continue to work after they retire, according to an online survey of 503 married couples between the ages of 43 and 70 conducted for Fidelity Investments.
Unlike many surveys of married people, in this survey both the husband and wife of each couple were asked the same questions.
Some couples did not even agree on the basic question of whether they use a financial planner, with the husbands and wives of 22% of the couples responding differently to that question. For this survey, respondents' household income was at least $75,000 or they had at least $100,000 of investable assets.
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While the average disparity is not huge (30%), it is still concerning. And the couples interviewed were not 27-year-old newly weds fresh out of grad school either. They are between 43 and 70 and have joint income of $75,000. You would think that finances would be a bit more of a joint concern for this demographic. There’s a silver-haired lining to this one, though. It appears that older couple’s answers begin to fall in step more. It would seem like older generations have traditionally left this up to the man. Maybe when you run out of stuff to talk about, someone is bound to bring up financial planning: “And so that’s how I became the youngest fire chief of Camden County.” “That’s great hon, how are we doing against the S&P these last few years?”