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Main Love and money
• Feb. 7, 2022

Breaking up can come with obstacles like dividing property, debt and retirement assets. But as it turns out, it appears the financial status of divorced couples may be better than when they were married.

Love and Money by the numbers

Love and Money, a 2021 survey from TD exploring the financial behaviours of more than 1,700 Canadians, surprisingly uncovered that divorced couples are feeling optimistic about their finances. In fact, 74% of divorced Canadians polled consider their financial status the same or better than when they were married.

Digging Deeper on Divorce and Finances

The TD Love and Money survey found that divorced couples are less likely to have discussed money during their marriage, compared to current couples. Not talking about money enough could have a role in the breakdown of marriage.

Interestingly, discussions about money don't end after splitting up. According to the survey:

  • 61% of divorced couples talk about money at least monthly with their ex
  • 30% of divorced couples argue about money monthly with their ex

The results also indicate that sometimes divorce can have a positive impact on financial management skills, with results for divorced respondents showing:

  • 52% said they learned a new financial skill like tracking their spending (28%), making bill payments (24%) and saving for retirement (23%)
  • More than half of those surveyed (57%) say they are spending less after divorce and nearly half (45%) consider themselves financially better off
  • More than half (54%) of respondents say it is easier to manage their finances post-divorce

Forever over Fun

The survey also shines a light on respondents in relationships, and shows that couples polled are choosing "forever" over "fun" when it comes to spending money:

  • One in three couples surveyed believe buying a home is a higher priority than hosting a wedding
  • "Forever purchases" also seem to be more important, with surveyed couples saying they've spent more on engagement rings in 2021 – $2,309 compared to $1,800 in 2020

Other interesting stats on committed couples surveyed include:

  • 28% are keeping a financial secret from their partner, up from 8% from the 2020 report
  • Of those keeping a secret, 64% don’t plan to ever tell their partner
  • The survey shows that a secret purchase is the most kept (42%), followed by a secret bank account (29%)

Ask for help with your own finances

Whether you're newly single, in a committed relationship, or possibly having to consider or are in the middle of a split up, seeking financial advice is always good to consider to help you whatever your situation.

According to the 2021 Love & Money survey, surveyed couples say the top things they need advice on are:

  • How to invest (20%)
  • Paying off debt (12%)
  • Planning for retirement (12%)

Click here to view an accessible PDF.

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