Millennials most candid when discussing money with future spouses


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Young adults more apt to talk debt, buying a home than boomers, Gen X

Sabrina Karl

Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


Having come of age surrounded by social media, millennials are often faulted by older generations for oversharing. But new survey data show this generational trait coming through in a positive way in one important area: discussing finances with a partner before walking down the aisle together.

In a recent survey by SunTrust Banks and the Harris Poll, millennial couples consistently reported greater transparency and more candid discussion with their future spouses on a number of financial fronts than did Generation X or baby boomer couples.

Take debt, for instance. Forty-four percent of married millennials said they had discussed their existing debt with their partner before the wedding, compared to 39 percent for married Gen Xers and just a third (33 percent) of married boomers.

See related: Millennials outdoing parents, grandparents on smart money moves

Millennials were also much more forthright than older generations in discussing whether to rent or buy a home after the wedding (56 percent vs. 38 to 39 percent for Gen X and baby boomers), and also on sharing the amount they had saved to-date for retirement. Married millennials were more than twice as likely to have discussed retirement savings with their future spouse than were married baby boomers (28 percent vs. 14 percent).

Millennials also were more likely to talk about their annual salary before walking down the aisle (44 percent), although married Gen Xers were almost as likely (43 percent) and boomers only slightly less inclined.

SunTrust’s survey was conducted online by the Harris Poll in the fourth quarter of 2018 among approximately 2,000 adults that either have a current spouse or partner or have been married. The results were released Jan. 7, 2019.  

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