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Most couples don’t share a retirement vision

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Fewer than four in 10 couples than share a common vision of retirement, according to a new survey.

Hearts & Wallets, Hingham, Mass., published this finding in a summary of results from its 2012/2013 Investor Quantitative Panel. The annual survey of more than 5,400 U.S. households tracks segments and product trends and is both a proprietary database and series of syndicated reports.

The report finds that only 38 percent of couples engage in retirement planning together. But one in five worry their spouse or partner may not be able to manage finance alone.

The survey adds that women tend to be more anxious about financial matters than men. Nearly four in 10 (38 percent) of women express either high or moderate anxiety as compared to 29 percent of men. The highest anxiety is among women with children under 18 at 40 percent.

More than half of all women are confused by “all the investment information out there,” the survey adds. More than 60 percent of middle-aged women, or accumulators, both breadwinners and non-breadwinners, confess to being confused by the plethora of investment information.

Mothers with dependent children under 18 are close behind at 59 percent. The least confused are widows age 55 and older. The survey suggests this is because they have been forced to assume primary responsibility for finances.

Additionally, the survey adds, three-quarters of married non-breadwinners and 70 percent of widows age 55 and older consult a financial adviser. Thirty-five percent and 26 percent of those segments, respectively, say their adviser is their primary source of advice.

In comparison, only 58 percent of middle-aged breadwinners and 59 percent of women with children under 18 consult financial advisers. And only 16 percent and 18 percent of those segments rely on advisers for primary advice.