Nearly three-quarters (71%) of couples ages 35 to 44 report they make decisions about managing debt as a team. This is compared to 55% of couples ages 65 and older who reported the same, according to a recent survey of 1,058 adults by TD AMERITRADE Holding Corporation.
Of couples ages 65 and older, 26% report the breadwinner alone makes decisions about paying bills, compared to 17% of couples ages 18 to 34. Likewise, 28% of couples ages 65 and older report the breadwinner alone is responsible for making decisions about how to manage debt, compared to 13% of couples ages 35 to 44.
“It’s clear that we’ve seen tremendous changes occur over the past few decades with respect to financial roles,” said Diane Young, director, retirement and goal planning, TD AMERITRADE. “When women entered the workforce in large numbers in the 1970s and 1980s, they took on more of a voice in the family’s financial matters, which is something that older generations simply did not experience—at least openly. As a result, younger generations tend to work together on most financial matters.”
Of those who are single, the survey found some differences between whether they made decisions by themselves or with someone else. Nearly all, 94%, of those ages 55 to 64 who are single report making decisions about managing debt alone, compared to 76% of those ages 35 to 44 who are single and report the same.
The vast majority, 97%, of those ages 65 and older who are single report making decisions about paying bills alone, while only 3% report making decisions about paying bills with someone else. Three-quarters (76%) of those ages 18 to 34 who are single and report making decisions about paying bills alone. Of those who are single, 20% of those ages 35 to 44 report making decisions about paying bills with someone else.