Openness in relationships extends to your finances, experts say

Openness in relationships extends to your finances, experts say

By Christopher Reynolds

THE CANADIAN PRESS

John Shmuel knows firsthand what financial openness and secrecy can do.

By the third date, his fiancee knew his income and savings. A year later they’d agreed to focus on saving for a condo before getting married.

“We were quite transparent from the start,” said Shmuel, a 33-year-old Toronto-based content strategy director who cites financial honesty as an essential ingredient in the couple’s relationship.

“My dad had debts and he didn’t disclose his financial situation. It created conflict in the household,” he recalled.

His parents are much more open about money now, but only after he sat down with them to stress full disclosure, he said.

“The money conversation is one of the toughest conversations in a relationship, one of the biggest conflict points.”

Amid soaring real estate prices and persistently high household debt levels, financial transparency plays a bigger role than ever in solidifying romantic partnerships, experts say.

A recent survey by Credit Canada, a non-profit credit counselling agency, found that financial dishonesty is the leading money-related reason Canadians would or have cut ties with their partner, with more than 70 per cent citing the sticking point as a potential deal breaker.

Dishonesty can include making secret purchases and hiding debt, income or bankruptcy. But transparency means more than the absence of deceit and requires putting numbers as well as goals and priorities on the table.

“It’s almost taboo to talk about money,” Shmuel said. “So what ends up happening is a lot of people just keep the status quo and maybe don’t mention that massive credit-card debt that they’re carrying.”

A hefty debt load or sagging credit score can lead to a rude awakening at the car dealership or the mortgage broker’s office.

“There’s no guide posts for when you should have these conversations,” Shmuel said, adding that there’s no set point in a relationship, but that a discussion before moving in together seems sensible.

About 85 per cent of Canadians with partners said that similar financial goals and habits were a prerequisite to a healthy, long-term relationship, according to a Royal Bank of Canada poll last month.

“It’s not always an outright deception, it’s just that one might want to spend a whole lot and…one might be a big saver. So how do you resolve that tension?” asked Amy Dietz-Graham, a portfolio manager and investment adviser with BMO Private Wealth.

“That tends to be the trickiest one.”

An approach to avoid is spying on your beloved to see if they’re concealing cash.

“I don’t think it’s going to be very productive to go snooping around in your partner’s credit card statement and try to old, ‘Ah ha, I got you,”’ Shmuel said. “That’s going to be a source of conflict.”

Instead, concerned spouses can watch for red flags _ spending sprees or an aversion to discussions of debt, for example.

“Those should be a catalyst to say, ‘Hey, I just saw this new set of golf clubs you have in the closet. You didn’t tell me you were buying this. I know it’s your money, but we have this decision to buy a car together in two years. I really want to make sure we’re on the same page. Can we talk about our finances?”’ Shmuel advised.

A common budget spreadsheet is a basic way to keep track of spending. Many spouses set up joint chequing accounts or combine virtually all of their finances, while others keep them totally separate, Dietz-Graham said.

“There’s no right way. It’s more important just to understand what you’re doing with money and who’s responsible for what.”

Sitting down with a financial adviser offers a “more comfortable setting so that it doesn’t feel like you’re judging your partner or putting them on the spot,” she said.

Topics that often get overlooked even by diligent couples include insurance, wills, retirement savings and secondary properties, she said.

“So sit down and just have a conversation,” Dietz-Graham said.  “It will make you feel a lot less of a burden about money.”

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Sun Life Global Investments reduces risk rating for Sun Life Real Assets Fund

ORONTO, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ – Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. (“Sun Life Global Investments,” “SLGI”) today announced a risk rating change for Sun Life Real Assets Fund. Effective immediately, the risk rating for this fund has been lowered from “medium” to “low to medium.”

In accordance with the investment risk classification methodology mandated by the Canadian Securities Administrators, Sun Life Global Investments reviews the risk ratings of its funds at least once a year, as well as when a fund undergoes a material change.

The Sun Life Real Assets Fund’s risk rating changed following an annual review that was conducted as part of Sun Life Global Investments’ ongoing fund review process. While the fund will be renamed to “Sun Life Real Assets Private Pool,” effective on or about February 26, 2020, the investment objectives and strategies of the fund remain unchanged.

About Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. 
Sun Life Global Investments is a subsidiary of Sun Life Financial Inc. It offers Canadians a diverse lineup of mutual funds and innovative portfolio solutions, empowering them to pursue their financial goals at every life stage. We bring together the strength of one of Canada’s most trusted names in financial services with some of the best asset managers from around the world to deliver a truly global investment platform. As of January 31, 2020, Sun Life Global Investments manages $29.68 billion on behalf of institutional and retail investors from coast-to-coast and is a member of the Sun Life group of companies. For more information visit www.sunlifeglobalinvestments.com or connect with us on Twitter @SLGI_Canada.

About Sun Life
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life has operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of December 31, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,099 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Note to editors: All figures in Canadian dollars

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.

© Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc., 2020. Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc. is a member of the Sun Life group of companies.

Media Relations Contact:
Alexandra Locke
Manager, Corporate Communications
T. 416-408-7357
Alexandra.locke@sunlife.com

SOURCE Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc.

Related Links

http://www.sunlife.com

For love and money: Financial chemistry helps create winning formula

Two-thirds of Canadian couples link financial stability to relationship success: RBC poll

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2020 /CNW/ – Successful long-term commitments rely on strong financial compatibility as well as romantic chemistry, according to the RBC 2020 Relationships & Money Insights Poll. The majority of Canadians with partners (85%) felt that having similar financial goals and habits was a prerequisite to their healthy, long-term relationships. Four-in-five (80%) believed it was important to speak with a prospective partner about finances before getting involved in a serious relationship.

In addition, the vast majority (91%) underlined the importance of prospective partners thinking along the same lines when it comes to spending and saving money, with almost two-thirds (62%) saying that the state of a potential partner’s finances could be a deal-breaker.

Setting clear financial boundaries was also a top priority (81%), with over two-thirds (69%) admitting that they would not combine their finances with their partner’s unless they knew that partner was financially stable.

“When you’re committing to a relationship, you’re inviting that special someone into your life, along with their finances,” says Sandra Abdool, Regional Financial Planning Consultant, RBC Financial Planning. “That’s a lot of sharing, and as a couple, it’s important to set clear financial boundaries to make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to spending, saving and managing your money.”

When it comes to fraternizing with your partner about your finances, it’s not just about what you say, but how often you say it, too. More than three-quarters (77%) of Canadians in relationships reported they speak with their partners about finances at least monthly, to create shared budgets (45%), come up with financial goals (41%) and save together (37%).

“While chemistry certainly counts, today’s couples want financial chemistry and compatibility, too,” adds Abdool. “By having frequent and honest conversations about your finances, you’re well on your way to building a sound financial and long lasting relationship together. Then go a step further – take time to do a reality check with a financial planner who can offer an outside perspective on financial compatibility.”

Here are tips from RBC to help Canadian couples stay on the same page and reach their financial and life goals together:

Find the budget that’s right for you: Discussing finances and setting clear financial goals and boundaries are important for any relationship. By coming up with a shared, realistic budget, Canadians can ensure they are on track with their partners, while leaving little room for surprises down the road. NOMI Budgets takes the thinking — and the manual calculation — out of setting up a budget for RBC clients. It focuses on five key categories and keeps the client on track by sending regular updates through the RBC Mobile app’s budget tracker.

Say “I do” to a shared financial plan: Creating a detailed financial plan and sharing this with your partner can help you work together to reach shared savings goals. Here’s where RBC Financial Planning can provide advice to help ensure money is there for you and your partner at various stages throughout your life together – for example, buying a car, getting a mortgage, raising a family and planning for retirement.

Invest for the future: Having a 20-minute conversation with a financial planner or advisor – in a bank branch or from the convenience of your home or office – can help you break the ice with your partner and begin talking about your shared financial goals. RBC’s MyAdvisor is an online financial advice service that connects you wherever you are with RBC financial planners and advisors who can give you guidance about how to build your financial future.

National and Regional Findings: RBC 2020 Relationships & Money Insights Poll

POLL QUESTIONS

CAN

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

AC

Finances are an important aspect of any
relationship. (Agree)

85%

83%

84%

90%

86%

85%

89%

I believe that it is important to regularly talk to
a partner about finances. (Agree)

87%

85%

89%

90%

89%

83%

94%

It is important to talk finances with a partner
before starting a serious relationship. (Agree)

80%

77%

83%

87%

82%

75%

85%

How often do you talk about your finances
with your partner? (At least once a month)

77%

83%

76%

76%

77%

74%

83%

What are you currently doing with your partner
re: your finances? (Budgeting together)

45%

42%

44%

50%

50%

35%

47%

What are you currently doing with your partner
re: your finances? (Setting financial goals)

40%

44%

51%

48%

44%

29%

31%

What are you currently doing with your partner
re: your finances? (Saving together)

37%

40%

45%

41%

41%

26%

31%

It’s important my partner and I are aligned on
how we spend and save our money. (Agree)

91%

89%

95%

94%

92%

87%

98%

Any deal-breakers in a relationship re:
partners’ financial situations (e.g. poor
spending habits, big credit card debt,
different financial priorities, no savings)?(Agree)

62%

64%

67%

61%

65%

57%

59%

I believe that having similar financial goals
and habits is a requirement for a healthy
long-term relationship. (Agree)

85%

79%

84%

90%

87%

81%

89%

I wouldn’t combine my finances with partner
unless they were financially stable. (Agree)

69%

65%

71%

75%

67%

74%

59%

The more financially stable my partner is, the
more likely they’re a long-term romantic option
for me. (Agree)

66%

60%

63%

68%

69%

65%

71%

About the RBC 2020 Relationships & Money Insights Poll
An online survey of 1000 Canadians who are married, common law, or in a dating relationship (either long or short term) was completed between January 3 and 11, 2020 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was ±3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Related Links

http://www.rbc.com

Cost of Love in Canada 2020: Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians Admit to Financial Infidelity

Cost of Love in Canada 2020: Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians Admit to Financial Infidelity

TORONTOFeb. 5, 2020 /CNW/ – One in five Canadians are committing financial infidelity by keeping a secret around money or spending in their relationship, according to a new Cost of Love survey from Rates.ca.

Money misrepresentations are most common among millennials, with almost 30 per cent of younger Canadians admitting to financial infidelity, and men are more likely (19 per cent) than women (13 per cent) to lie about money. Canadians who are dating or engaged are more likely to have a financial secret than those that are separated or married.

Three in ten (31 per cent) Canadians are hiding purchases they make from their significant other. Almost one-third are concealing their poor credit score, 21 per cent have hidden cash, 14 per cent have hidden bank accounts, and 10 per cent have a secret line of credit or a long-term loan.

“Hiding a poor credit score or a large sum of debt can have consequences in the future. Especially for partners buying their first home or financing a car. Being transparent and taking the right steps to manage debt or correct poor credit can prevent disappointment and further financial woes,” said Sara Kesheh, Vice President, Money, Rates.ca.

The survey also revealed that nearly half (47 per cent) of those in a relationship, say the value of their financial secret is $1,000 or more. Almost one in five admitted that their financial secret is $10,000 or more.

Dealing with Financial Infidelity

Half of Canadians with a financial secret believe nothing would happen if their significant other were to discover the secret.

Another 22 per cent say the worst consequence would be to fight and find a solution, two per cent feel it would result in a break-up, and only one per cent say it would result in divorce.

Whether you’re getting married, making a major purchase together or combining finances with a partner, Kesheh offers expert advice to avoid disagreements over money.

  • Talk about debt: Working as a team to manage the debt can help pay down the principal faster and accrue less interest on the balance. That won’t be an option for everyone; however, ignoring the debt could turn a small problem into a big one.

  • Create a budget: Track your spending to form an accurate budget. Be aware of how much income is coming in versus how much money is being spent. From there, pinpoint areas where you can cut back and create a plan for paying off the debt.

  • Use financial resources: Carrying a balance on a standard credit card can run the risk of the debt growing faster than it can be paid off. Many resources can help make the debt more manageable, including low-interest credit cards or balance transfer options. The key is never to skip a minimum payment and to pay more when you can.

  • Be a team: If you are on the reverse end of the secret, try to be patient, constructive, not critical, listen to what your partner needs and, most of all, be supportive.

The survey also revealed:

  • Of the four per cent of Canadians who are engaged, 24 per cent have a financial secret. Of the 11 per cent of Canadians who are dating, 23 per cent have a financial secret. Only 14 per cent of those separated or married are hiding their finances.
  • Married or separated couples are more likely to have financial secrets below $1,000, at 46 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
  • Couples who are dating or engaged are more likely to have secrets valued at $1,000 or more, at 59 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
  • Among Canadians with a financial secret: eight per cent have a secret credit card, nine per cent have secret investments, seven per cent have credit rewards points they haven’t told their significant other about, and five per cent have a secret payday loan.

To review the findings, visit Rates.ca.

About the Survey
An online survey of 1600 Canadians was completed between January 3 – 6, 2020, using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/-2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

About Rates.ca 

Rates.ca is Canada’s one-stop-shop for the best rates on insurance and money products. Rates.ca publishes rates from 30+ insurance providers so that shoppers can find the best rates for themselves. Use the site to find the best rates for auto, home and travel insurance, mortgages, and credit cards. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Rates.ca is located at 360 Adelaide Street West, Suite 100, Toronto, ON, M5V 1R7

SOURCE Rates.ca

Related Links

https://rates.ca/

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