Except for the youngest adults, financial security is outweighing the less tangible benefits of being “head over heels” in love with one’s partner.
So says the latest edition of the Merrill Edge Report, which not only finds that 56% of Americans say they want a partner who provides financial security more than they want to be swept off their feet — majorities of both men (54%) and women (57%) say so — but Gen Z feels a little differently. Those born between 1996 and 2000 are the only generation to choose love (54%) over money (47%).
This study of the mass affluent also revealed that respondents prefer a partner who is career-focused (63%) over socially conscious (37%); frugal (55%) more than philanthropic (45%); and a saver (83%) rather than a spender (17%).
But in seeking out all these outward signs of financial security in a partner, that doesn’t mean they’re talking about their own financial situation. In fact, not only do respondents rank nearly all major relationship milestones above discussing their finances, including meeting the family, being intimate, traveling together and discussing politics, they procrastinate on having the “money talk” with significant others.
Among the topics they’re close-mouthed about are debt (60%), salary (57%), investments (55%) and spending habits (51%).