21 July 2019

Financial Infidelity: A Trend Among Americans

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The topic of financial infidelity, whereby spouses lie to one another about money, emerged as one of the surprising topics of discussion at a recent meeting of the AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission in Washington, DC.  Commission members discussed a recent creditcards.com financial infidelity report that showed that about 20 percent of people admit to spending $500 or more without telling their significant other. According to the study, men are more likely to both spend more than $500 and have a secret account.

One way to prevent this is by setting aside some time with your partner (away from busy or stressful times) and having an open discussion about your spending and financial goals. Another solution offered was to have a joint account, but open separate accounts to make individual purchases. The key is having a trusting partner with whom you can have an honest and open dialogue about your finances.

Chaired by former AICPA Chairman of the Board of Directors Ernie Almonte, CPA, the Financial Literacy Commission is composed of CPAs who advance the profession’s leadership in a national effort to raise the financial literacy of all Americans. The AICPA’s two major initiatives in this area are 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, a national volunteer effort of CPAs to help all Americans understand their personal finances through every stage in life, and Feed The Pig, the AICPA’s public service campaign with the Ad Council that gives Americans ages 25-34 the tools and resources they need to make smart saving decisions.

At their meeting, members discussed perennial issues, such as ways to select the best financial adviser, goal-based investment strategies, student loan repayment plans, planning to apply for a mortgage, whether to take Social Security early, and whether money matters when selecting a spouse.

In 2015, Commission members will spearhead an effort to promote the 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program and financial education with state CPA societies, AICPA members and the general public. If you are interested in volunteering to speak about financial literacy topics, the AICPA has information and turnkey resources for you to use. From talking to elementary school students about money basics to organizing workplace brown bags on retirement planning, you can join the thousands of CPAs who share their expertise and give back to their communities.

Many people know their partners’ debt before tying the knot and are aware of the need to create a financial plan when getting married. However, many people are now opening credit card and bank accounts without their partners’ knowledge. This topic may sound surprising but based on the Financial Literacy Commission, it looks to be more prevalent in 2015.

Click here to access the full article on AICPA Insights.

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