Senior fisherman rowing in a boat on a lake Mikkeljavre in NorwaWe all worry about our retirement plans, with the possible downturns like job loss or stock market downturns. But many people are making a simple mistake that derails their retirement income planning, and this danger may not even be recognized until it’s too late! In fact, you may already be making this costly mistake.

According to a study by CreditCards.com, quite a few Americans are cheating – financially, that is! In fact, one in five of us have made a major purchase of 500 dollars or more without first consulting with our spouses. And we’re hiding money, too: About 7.2 million Americans have money stashed in secret bank accounts, or have credit cards that their spouses don’t even know exist.

it’s important to keep in mind that most people aren’t trying to harm their spouses with financial secrets. Since money is the most common cause of marital discord, most of these people are probably just trying to avoid an argument or uncomfortable situation. But the problems is that hiding money, or lying about purchases, can cause serious budget problems down the road. If both parties in a marriage are keeping financial secrets from one another, neither of you really knows how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and how much is sitting in the bank.

Some of the potential pitfalls of keeping financial secrets include:
● missed bills
● late charges
● harm to your credit score
● developing unrealistic budget expectations
● reaching retirement unprepared

A couple that expects to build a future together needs to be on the same page when it comes to earning money, spending, borrowing, establishing a budget, and saving for the future. If you feel the need to lie about your spending habits or hide money, this is a possible sign of troubled times in the future.

You might be dreading the conversation, but remember that secrets have a way of coming out eventually. It is better to get everything out in the open now, than to face a worse situation in the future. If you’re worried about your spouse’s reaction to your secrets, seek the advice of a skilled couples counselor. Most people better react to a surprise when they are also presented with a solution to the problem.

In the future, try to be more open with your partner. Work together to agree on a budget, and consult with your insurance professional to make sure your retirement income plan is on target with your goals.

14329 – 2015/4/6