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-- TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day poll finds Canadians aren't shy when it comes to money talk with their partner --

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - You've moved in together or chosen a sparkling engagement ring, but did you remember to pay off your maxed out credit card and set aside some money for your retirement?

If not, "happily ever after" may be a little further away than you had originally anticipated. According to the TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day poll, 77% of Canadians say they would not marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or if they held excessive debt.

The poll, which surveyed Canadian adults currently or recently in a committed relationship, found that 29% say they would date but never marry someone who couldn't manage their money well, 37% say they wouldn't even date someone who didn't have their finances under control, and 11% say they were recently in a relationship like that, but wouldn't do it again.

"Whether you're moving in together or getting married, you each contribute something to the relationship including savings, investments and debt," says Andrea Phillips, Vice President, Retail Savings and Investing, TD Canada Trust. "Opening up about your finances - not to mention actually sharing your assets and liabilities - can be a challenging notion for some."

Money Talk: Canadians aren't shy, but some admit to telling the odd white lie

The good news for Canadians is that nine-in-ten feel comfortable and confident talking to their partners about money. At the same time, some lovebirds admit to telling little white lies to hide their spending splurges. Twenty-one percent of Canadians have told their partner that something they purchased cost less than what it did and 13% have hidden a new purchase from their other half.

"Talking openly and honestly about money is an important part of establishing a healthy financial foundation," says Phillips. "If you're saving for a rainy day but your partner is thinking about the next big shopping adventure, you might be headed for some challenges. Couples who discuss their personal and financial goals openly, and work with a financial advisor, can create a roadmap for success, together."

Canadians are more likely to buy a home together than they are to share a financial plan

When it comes to joint personal finances, love-struck Canadians are more likely to take the plunge and buy a home together (72%) than they are to open a joint bank account (68%), set a joint financial plan (64%) have a joint credit card (52%), or contribute to each other's RRSPs (43%). By contrast, one-third say they keep their finances completely separate from their partner's.

Phillips says there can be a number of benefits to pooling assets with your partner, including lowering a household's overall tax burden:

"If you are married or in a common law relationship, you could consider a strategy where the higher income earner contributes to their partner's RRSP. The higher income earner can then claim a deduction on their own taxable income, and when the lower income earner withdraws the money in retirement it may be taxed at a lower marginal rate than their partner's, resulting in tax savings."

Canadians wouldn't consider a pre-nup

Despite the trend of combining finances, 82% of Canadians say they would not consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Canadians who are currently separated or divorced are the most likely to consider one for their next relationship (29% versus 16% nationally).

"Regardless of how intertwined your finances are, you may also consider talking together about your individual financial goals outside of those you have as a couple," says Phillips. "For instance, having a credit card and bills in your own name that you pay back in full and on time will help you build your personal credit rating. Similarly, making regular contributions from your paycheque into your RRSP will help you build a healthy nest egg for the future. Remember that this year's deadline is February 29."

About the TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day Poll

TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a telephone omnibus survey of 2,000 Canadians 18 years of age or older, with 1,379 who are currently or were recently in a serious relationship. Results were collected between January 5 - 15, 2012.

About TD Canada Trust

TD Canada Trust offers personal and business banking to more than 11.5 million customers. We provide a wide range of products and services from chequing and savings accounts, to credit cards, mortgages and business banking, to credit protection and travel medical insurance, as well as advice on managing everyday finances. TD Canada Trust makes banking comfortable with award-winning service and convenience through 24/7 mobile, internet, telephone and ATM banking, as well as in over 1,100 branches, with convenient hours to serve customers better. For more information, please visit: TD Canada Trust is the Canadian retail bank of TD Bank Group, the sixth largest bank in North America.

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