Even affluent couples get the financial blues.

A recent survey by PNC Wealth Management, a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., found that the recession has created a rift between wealthy couples on how they view personal finances, as well as plan and discuss money.

PNC's Wealth and Values Survey found that more women than men feel they are planning their finances more carefully since the financial meltdown, with 49% of women, compared with 39% of men, saying they are more cautious. Meanwhile, 51% of men and 38% of women say "nothing has changed."

PNC reports that women in general worry more than men about a wide range of financial issues. In fact, 69% of women, compared to 54% of men, say they are concerned about the recession, while 51% of women versus 44% of men say they are concerned about inflation. In addition, 46% of women, compared to 40% of men, say they are concerned about having enough money to support their lifestyle, while 45% of women versus 35% of men are worried about declining real estate values.

“The findings confirm a fundamental need for couples: open communication between spouses is critical to financial harmony,” said R. Bruce Bickel, senior vice president of PNC Wealth Management, in a statement. “One spouse's perception must equal the other spouse's intention in order to have successful communication. The only way for that to happen is if husbands and wives openly communicate their views and listen to what the other is saying.”

There also seems to be a disconnect among couples on investing. Forty-one percent of men say they are high or moderate risk investors versus 27% of women. Forty-six percent of women say they are balanced investors, while 27% say they are conservative or no-risk.

Interestingly, 53% of men say they are the ones who are most responsible for financial decisions. Yet 73% of women feel they share responsibility for these decisions- so something doesn’t add up. Only 17% of women say they are the ones who are mostly responsible.

Meanwhile, 55% of men and only 45% of women say they “derive pleasure from wealth accumulation,” a decline from five years ago when 52% of men and 50% of said the same. And more parents are worried that their child will have a tougher time financially.

“Helping children create budgets and discussing the principles of earning, giving, saving and spending instills discipline early in life and they are more likely to carry these values forward,” said Bickel. “It doesn't matter how much money a family has, this approach is indispensible and helps assure future success with finances.”

The Wealth and Values Survey was conducted online within the United States in September and October 2010 among 1,097 adults (age 18 or over) with over $500K in investable assets and a minimum annual income of $150K (if less than $1 million in investable assets and not retired).  



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