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

VANCOUVER, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Before you splurge on that diamond ring or a romantic night for two this Valentine's Day, think again. A recent poll from TD Canada Trust reveals a paid off credit card or healthy savings account may be the deciding factor between "I do" and "no way".

The TD Canada Trust Valentine's Day poll revealed 72% of British Columbians would not marry someone who was bad at managing their personal finances or if they held excessive debt. The poll, which surveyed British Columbian adults currently or recently in a committed relationship, found that 24% say they would date but never marry someone who couldn't manage their money well, 38% say they wouldn't even date someone who didn't have their finances under control, and 10% 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 Linda Zanette, District Vice President, Pacific Region, 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: Majority of British Columbians comfortable discussing personal finances

The good news for British Columbians is that 88% feel comfortable and confident talking to their partners about money. What's more is that British Columbians are most likely to know how much their partner has in savings and investments (89% vs. 82% nationally), and 88% of residents know how much debt their partner has.

Only a few admit to telling white lies: 18% of British Columbians have told their partner something they purchased cost less than what it did and 12% 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 Zanette. "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."

British Columbians are investing with their better halves

When it comes to joint personal finances, British Columbians are most likely to think long-term with 52% saying they have contributed to each other's RRSPs or have set up a spousal RSP (versus 43% nationally). Overall, the majority of British Columbians are in it together: 75% have a joint bank account, 74% own a home together, 71% have a financial plan and 60% have a joint credit card. Only 27% of British Columbians keep their personal finances completely separate.

Zanette 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."

British Columbians least likely to consider a pre-nup

Despite the trend of combining finances, British Columbians are most likely to say they wouldn't consider a pre-nup (89% versus 82% nationally). 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 Zanette. "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 B.C. 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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