Rich Americans Rank Financial Security Over Love in Relationships

(Bloomberg) -- Money talks -- especially in relationships.

When looking for a partner, 56 percent of affluent Americans want someone who provides financial security, versus 44 percent who want to be “head over heels” in love, according to more than 1,000 respondents surveyed by Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Edge. Of those polled, 63 percent said they preferred a career-focused partner over a socially conscious mate.

“There’s a level of realism” for couples who face economic uncertainty and a lack of financial planning, said Aron Levine, head of consumer banking and Merrill Edge, which offers online investing. “How do you keep the love of your life if you can’t pay for a vacation?” he said in an interview in New York.

While respondents placed a high priority on the finances of potential mates, most were more tight-lipped about their own, rarely discussing debt, salary, investments and spending habits with significant others, the survey showed.

Other findings in the report by Merrill Edge, which has about $204 billion in assets under management:

  • Affluent Americans are willing to put aside an average of $18,000 a year on saving and investing, more than they want to spend on rent or mortgage payments, their children’s education or travel.
  • The majority of respondents has no monetary goal in mind for milestones such as getting married or having a baby.
  • Almost three-quarters of respondents expect to get their investment guidance primarily through digital channels within five years.

Respondents in the survey, conducted from Sept. 27 to Oct. 13, were 18 to 40 years old with investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000, or investable assets of $20,000 to $50,000 and annual income of at least $50,000. For those older than 40, respondents had investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.