Most of us are familiar with the quote, “you can’t put a price on true love.” But have we ever weighed up whether it’s easier to find true love than financial success?
Earlier this year, TD conducted a Love and Money survey exploring the financial behaviours of more than 3,000 married, divorced, and in-a-relationship North Americans.
“The study has provided insights into the financial conversations some Canadians may be having at home with their partners or, as the case may be, the lack thereof,” District Vice President at TD, Nicole Beaton, tells Daily Hive.
Love and Money revealed a series of new findings, one of which is that half of Canadians surveyed (49%) believe it’s easier to find true love than financial success. “This highlights the uncertainty some Canadians may be feeling about their finances! And the apparent need for additional support in making financial plans and decisions,” says Beaton.
In light of the results, Beaton notes that the Canadian couples surveyed could be feeling “cautiously optimistic” about their future financial goals.
The survey found that 60% of Canadian couples surveyed are having trouble meeting their financial goals during the COVID-19 pandemic, while “not talking about money with my partner on a regular basis” emerged as the top financial mistake noted among respondents.
For those already in a committed relationship, the survey revealed that 45% of couples say it’s been easy to talk about money during COVID-19, with 49% saying the pandemic has actually led to more open and productive conversations about their finances.
“Among those surveyed, it’s great to see that so many Canadians are open to working with their partners to align on financial plans,” says Beaton. “At TD, we often speak to clients about the importance of talking openly, early, and often about money. This is the first step in setting your financial goals together — a mutual understanding of the path forward.”
She continues, “It’s so important to have candid and frequent conversations about money throughout your relationship in order to track your progress against your goals.”
Early and frequent communication is key. The TD survey found that 77% of Canadian couples say they open up about their finances within the first year. But 47% of Canadian millennials surveyed aren’t comfortable doing this within the first six months of a relationship.
“Talking about money has become even more important right now given the impact of the pandemic on couples’ financial plans,” Beaton tells us. “In my experience, I’ve found that many people feel a range of emotions from intimidation to vulnerability when opening up and talking about money, earnings, debt, and investments, because it is such an incredibly personal and intimate topic.”
Could secrecy be the reason for keeping financial information from a loved one? Of those surveyed in Canada, 8% admitted to keeping a financial secret from their loved one, with 62% never planning on disclosing this secret to their partner.
“While I tend to believe that honesty is the best policy, it’s also important that customers take action to address any financial skeletons,” says Beaton. “Have an open and honest conversation with your partner or a financial representative about your financial background, and you might be able to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.”
According to Love and Money, 40% of Canadians polled say they believe their significant other is their soulmate. In terms of happiness, Beaton shares that 69% of Canadian respondents indicated that they are at least very happy, with Albertans the most likely across the country to be extremely happy.
When the question of financial concerns was put to respondents, 16% of Canadian respondents indicated that their biggest worry is not being able to retire. But despite this concern, just 32% of Canadians surveyed say they meet with a financial advisor on an annual basis.
“This is a familiar narrative that I’ve been hearing throughout the pandemic from customers,” says Beaton. “There are great benefits to starting to save early, but don’t let that intimidate you if you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s. It’s never too late to start saving or investing in your retirement.”
According to the survey findings, 88% of Canadians polled are, in fact, saving for something — whether that be an emergency fund, a vacation, or retirement.
“In my discussions with customers, I often see how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting them differently. While some are facing financial hardship, others have been able to squirrel away some savings. Each situation tends to be very unique, and so each customer needs unique advice,” says Beaton.
From coast to coast in Canada, TD has over 6,600 financial advisors who can help provide personalized financial advice to couples and assist them with their financial goals. “Working with a knowledgeable advisor can be very helpful, as they can assist in guiding the conversation and listening to ensure both parties are being heard and aligned on a mutually beneficial financial plan.”
At TD, advisors are equipped with the tools and knowledge to help Canadian couples on their financial journey. TD also recently launched the TD Ready Advice Hub, a free online site offering information and articles on an array of timely financial topics.