Millionaires and Household Financial Decisions


After settling questions about having kids, and where you are going to live, couples getting married eventually get around to discussing finances and making decisions on who is going to handle what.

Spectrem’s latest quarterly study of affluent investors, “Financial attitudes and Concerns,” asked respondents how finances are handled in their household, and discovered that most married couples pool their assets and more than half make financial decisions together.

The Spectrem study examines three different wealth segments, including Millionaires with a net worth between $1 million and $4.9 million Not Including Primary Residence. Eighty-five percent of Millionaires are married, and 89 percent of them say they pool their assets.

Of the married Millionaires, 53 percent say they make financial decisions together, although women are far more likely (74 percent) than men (43 percent) to say they make joint decisions. In most cases, when decisions are not made jointly, it is the man who handles the financials.

There is also a difference among Millionaires based on age, with the younger Millionaire households more likely to share financial decisions. Sixty-one percent of Millionaire investors under the age of 36 make those decisions jointly, while only 52 percent of those over the age of 64 do so. Overall, only about 5 percent of households have the female spouse making the decisions.

Among the three wealth segments studied by Spectrem, the less wealthy investors are more likely to make joint financial decisions. Among the Mass Affluent, with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million, 61 percent make financial decisions together; 53 percent of Millionaires do so, and only 39 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $24.9 million, share the financial decision-making duties.

There is also an understandable difference in households based on how many incomes there are. In two-income households, 60 percent report joint decision making, while only 42 percent of one-income households do so.


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