This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Money Fights Come 5 Times a Year, Study Says

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The road to retirement is tough enough without having to pull over to fight about money and budgets.

But that's exactly what U.S. couples do regularly, fighting about money five times every year, according to investment firm TD Ameritrade (AMTD).

That comes out of the twice a year, or only twice per month, couples discuss money, said the Omaha, Neb., financial services giant in a survey released Thursday.

"With the median age for first-time marriages approaching 30, combining finances is not as simple as it once was," said Carrie Braxdale, a managing director of investor services at TD Ameritrade. "Couples are bringing more financial baggage into the relationship than ever before. They have 401(k)s, student loan debt, investments and even mortgages. So it's more important than ever for couples to talk about their finances and work together to develop a plan."

It turns out couples may not focus on money once they're married -- at least until there's a problem -- but they sure do before they get married.

While looks and personality trump money and potential earnings, according to the study, TD Ameritrade says "poor financial habits" are "undesirable" for men and women alike.

Big red flags for men and women looking for a life partner: Things such as high credit card debt (65% of respondents); relying on parents for financial support (also 65%); and lack of motivation to get ahead (66%).

Attitudes about money and debt can also take a negative turn once the knot is tied, according to the survey:

  • 40% of respondents said they don't trust their partner to manage their combined finances.
  • 38% said they were barely aware of their significant other's debts.
  • 21% said they sometimes hide their spending from their significant other.
  • 43% of newlyweds don't follow a family budget.

Then there's the absence of frank discussions on money and savings, which could put a couple's retirement planning in jeopardy. While regular discussions about family finances doesn't qualify as romantic under any definition, those conversations still have to happen, and the earlier the better, since savings for retirement have to start earlier than ever to ensure your later years are comfortable.

"While discussing money may not be the most romantic of gestures, it is important to not only have those financial discussions early in a relationship, but to continue having them throughout your marriage to help avoid financial surprises and minimize financial arguments," Braxdale says.

She urges couples to discuss finances before marriage; build a budget as soon as possible once wed; agree on a long-term savings and investment plan and contribute to it regularly; and not to keep financial secrets.

Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but when it comes to a healthy financial outlook, don't put the carriage before the horse, or risk having your combined financial future put out to pasture.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,986.90 +26.33 0.16%
S&P 500 1,979.41 +1.07 0.05%
NASDAQ 4,448.6620 -0.9020 -0.02%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs