By Daniel Hunter

One in five couples over the age of 40 has avoided discussing their retirement plans in the last five years while one in ten has never discussed it, according to new findings from Prudential.

The research also shows that avoiding conversations around retirement can lead to a mismatch in how much money each half of a couple expects to live on in retirement.

When asked separately to estimate a couple’s expected joint retirement income, men said £35,100 on average and women £32,000.

Despite sharing a life together, many couples are also reluctant to lay their financial cards on the table.

Around one in four keeps their current account entirely separate, with almost one in three holding savings in separate account.

Money is the third most-likely subject to cause disagreement among couples; with almost one in four admitting they fight more about finances than they do about socialising, work, or politics and religion.

“For any couple, discussing and agreeing on the best retirement income options for them is as important as keeping their day-to-day finances in order,” said Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential.

“It’s easy for couples to put off conversations about finances, particularly longer-term issues like retirement planning, because it’s difficult to see any short-term impact. But our research has highlighted some worrying trends; in particular the fact that nearly one in five couples approaching retirement, in the 45 to 54 age group, has never discussed jointly their plans for income in later life.”

He added, “Avoiding the conversation is just likely to create a bigger issue in the longer term, so having open, frequent and early conversations about retirement planning really can help couples to remain financially secure.”

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