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PITTSBURGH, Pa, – PNC Advisors, the financial planning arm of PNC Financial Group, advises couples to talk about money more than romance this coming Valentine’s Day. “Talking about money on Valentine’s Day may seem about as romantic as finding broccoli in your box of chocolates, but it’s the best gift couples can give to each other,” said Joan Gulley, CEO of PNC Advisors. “On many fronts, men and women don’t see eye to eye about financial goals, investment strategies and financial decision-making, and these discrepancies accentuate the potential for contentious differences between the sexes. At a certain point, money enters into every relationship, and it is important for couples to understand the roles and priorities of each partner in their financial affairs.” The issue has importance for couples because there is a wide discrepancy between the sexes about money and how they spend and earn it. When it comes to financial decision-making, men still think they are in charge. While seven out of 10 women of wealth said they shared financial decision-making responsibilities with their spouse, fewer than half of the men surveyed admitted to sharing the responsibilities. Men were four times as likely as women to say they made all the financial decisions, with 53% of the survey’s male respondents saying they were mostly responsible for making the financial decisions, compared to only 13% of the women. In addition, women were more likely to say that they sometimes argue about money. Nearly 30% of women say they sometimes argue with their spouse about money. Yet 80% of men said they never or rarely argued about it, compared with 67% of women. The conflicting perceptions exist in part because women can have more independent economic lives than they once had. The PNC Advisors survey reported that women play a stronger role in family finances and feel as financially independent as their male counterparts. Seven of 10 affluent women surveyed said that when it comes to their financial success and security, they can make it on their own without the help of others, and eight of 10 feel they have a lot of control over their financial future. As investors, wealthy women tend to hold a lower percentage of stocks in their portfolios than men (an average 37% of their portfolio versus 50% for men). Interestingly, men were three times as likely as women to say their net worth had declined over the past five years (17%of men versus 6% of women). But, more women marry into money than men. Sixteen percent of wealthy women surveyed cited marriage as one of their sources of wealth versus only 1% of men. Men more often mentioned investments as a wealth source (63% versus 48% of women).

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