couple with umbrella standing under money rain

couple with umbrella standing under money rain (© ArtFamily - stock.adobe.com)

NEW YORK — As the old song goes, “you got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me.” However, a new poll finds singles may also need plenty in savings and debt-free credit too! It turns out that Americans think having a savings account is sexy.

According to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults in serious relationships, engaged, or married, having a savings account (40%), not having any debt (38%), having a five-year plan (29%), and having life insurance (23%) are all attractive traits in a partner. While spontaneity is often hailed as romantic, 78 percent of respondents agree that someone who prepares for the future is more attractive than someone who flies by the seat of their pants. 

At the start of their relationship, only 17 percent preferred to receive practical gifts such as appliances or paid bills from their partner. Today, however, 25 percent would opt for those practical gifts over personalized presents (22%) or expensive ones (10%). This may be because 67 percent of respondents agree that as the relationship goes on, practical gifts become more and more romantic. 

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Assurance IQ, the survey also looked to uncover how love changes as you grow older and how couples are preparing for the future together. More than half (58%) of respondents consider themselves prepared for the future, but the average respondent didn’t start to think that way until the age of 35. In fact, the average American didn’t even start to think about planning for the long-term future until they were 32

More than two-thirds (69%) attribute their preparedness to their partner — either putting these plans in place to protect them (35%) or to make them feel secure (34%). Sixty-five percent find strength in unity and believe that they are more secure together.

Couple splitting money between them
It turns out that Americans think having a savings account is sexy. (Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels)

The survey also found that couples don’t waste any time when it comes to preparing for the future. Though it took the average respondent about two years to plan marriage, 27 percent of respondents discussed marriage less than six months into their relationship. Almost a quarter (24%) even took that a step further and discussed having children or adopting a pet (27%) in the same time frame.

When it comes to planning for unexpected challenges, respondents seem to delay the conversations, with 28 percent saying they spend more time discussing happy milestones than topics like life insurance or end-of-life wishes. 

“Talking about life insurance and wills is definitely not fun,” says Kate Long, a consumer financial wellness advocate at Assurance IQ, in a statement. “But the 39 percent of couples who have already had these conversations can feel better protected. Life insurance can strengthen your combined financial security, and ensure you have a financial plan if the unexpected happens.”

Of the 39 percent who’ve discussed life insurance, the average respondent waited four years into the relationship to do so. Similarly, wills were only brought up about six years into the average relationship. 

Still, only 35 percent of respondents say that both themselves and their partner have life insurance, which is a stark contrast from the 76 percent who say that having life insurance is important to them.

“Signing up for insurance together might not sound romantic, but it is a true gesture of love,” Long says. “Life insurance can provide financial protection to your partner if you are not around to support them. Getting married, buying a home together, and having children are all exciting milestones. Getting life insurance to protect what matters most, like your home and your family’s financial future, should be a natural next step.”

Survey methodology:

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans in serious relationships, engaged or married was commissioned by Assurance IQ between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, 2024. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

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