Love might, after all, be blind or at least able to overlook some financial woes, according to a “Couples & Money” survey from TD Ameritrade.
Couples were asked if they would call off the wedding, push back the date or neither should one partner announce a financial setback such as bankruptcy or unemployment. In most cases, a large portion of the respondents answered that they would do neither or go ahead with plans.
Even in the case of bankruptcy, which was the biggest deal breaker for engaged couples, only 32% of respondents would call off the wedding. Another 27% would hesitate or postpone while 41% predicted they would do neither.
“One of the most common challenges newlyweds face is how to merge their finances,” said Carrie Braxdale, managing director, investor services, TD Ameritrade. “We know that more people are getting married later in life, and as a result, they are bringing more financial history into the marriage – from credit card debt and student loans, to 401(k)s and other investments. This makes it even more important for couples to have the money discussions before they walk down the aisle.”
The survey asked about a number of other issues including low credit score, little or no savings, high credit card debt, high student loan debt, mortgage issue or foreclosure, lack of employment and no retirement savings.
In all cases, women were more likely than men to call off or postpone the wedding. For example, 42% of women considered bankruptcy a deal breaker compared to 24% of men.
Geography also played a role. Foreclosure was a big issue in the minds of Midwesterners who were most likely to hold off on or postpone tying the knot. About three quarters, or 73 percent, considered it a deal breaker. The West was next in line with 66 percent of respondents reporting that credit card debt was enough to reconsider.
One way couples may compromise in case of emergency is by cutting the costs of their wedding. Despite reports that the price of an average wedding can top $27,000, 46% of respondents who expected to marry planned to spend $10,000 or less on their weddings, the report says. Sixty percent said that they would be paying out of their own pockets without help from parents.
Conducted by Research Now on behalf of TD Ameritrade, the online survey drew 1,014 participants in early April of this year.