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-- TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day poll reveals Albertans are looking for financially responsible partner --

CALGARY, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - This Valentine's Day, get out the chocolate covered strawberries, pink champagne, rose petals… and credit card statements? According to a recent TD Canada Trust survey, how you manage your finances may play a big part in landing the love of your life.

The TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day poll revealed 80% of Albertans would not marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or if they held excessive debt. The poll, which surveyed Albertan adults currently or recently in a committed relationship, found that 27% say they would date but never marry someone who couldn't manage their money well, 39% say they wouldn't even date someone who didn't have their finances under control, and 14% 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 Shawnette Fraser, Manager, Customer Experience, TD Canada Trust. "Opening up about your finances - not to mention actually sharing your assets and liabilities - can be a challenging notion for some."

Talk isn't cheap: Majority of Albertans disclose personal finances with partner

According to the TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day Poll, Albertans are the most likely in Canada to feel confident talking to their partner about money and savings for the future (58% compared to 48% nationally).

Albertans are among the most likely to discuss how much debt their partner has (90% vs. 85% nationally), and most know what their partner's salary is (91%) and how much their partner has in savings and investments (87%). Only a few admit to telling white lies: 19% of Albertans have told their partners something they purchased cost less than it really did and 11% 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 Fraser. "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."

Together forever: Albertans most likely to invest together

When it comes to joint investments, Albertans are least likely to go it alone, with only 19% keeping their finances completely separate from their partner's (compared to 33% nationally). As a matter of fact, Albertans are the most likely in Canada to buy a home together (82% versus 72% nationally), have a joint bank account (79% versus 68%), and have a joint financial plan (74% versus 64%).

Fraser 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," she says.

Most Albertans won't consider a pre-nup

Despite the trend of combining finances, 86% of Albertans say they would not consider a pre-nuptial agreement. Nationally, 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 Fraser. "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; 250 residents from Alberta were surveyed. 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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