Americans Would Rather Talk About Death Than Money

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They say money talks, but the same cannot be said about those who hold it. Somewhere between pride and embarrassment, society labeled money as a taboo subject. In fact, there are several other sensitive topics that more than half of Americans would rather discuss.

According to a new survey from Wells Fargo, 44 percent of Americans said the most difficult subject to talk about was personal finance. In comparison, death (38 percent), politics (35 percent), religion (32 percent), taxes (21 percent), and personal health (20 percent) all ranked as less difficult. About a third of respondents admitted to having difficulty discussing money with their significant others, while a quarter said they had heated discussions about household finances. The survey polled more than 1,000 adults between the ages of 25 and 75.

“It’s not surprising people don’t want to talk about money, investments, tax strategies, or even how much to put aside for a child’s education,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo. “But not spending time today to think about the future can be costly in the long-run. I think of personal finance in the same vein as my health — I wouldn’t keep concerns about my physical health private. I’d consult a doctor or talk to a friend or family member about it.”

The survey also revealed that adults are more likely to take a vacation each year than review their finances. Adults who considered themselves to be in poor or average financial health are twice as likely to update their Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) profile than review their finances. Furthermore, two-thirds of adults spend at least two hours watching television each day, but only one third spend at least 15 minutes thinking about their finances daily.

Despite the findings, there is a clear need for Americans to review and discuss their finances. Two in five Americans said that money is the biggest stress in their life, and more than a third report being more stressed out this year than last. Money problems never sleep as a third of Americans said they lost sleep due to worrying about their finances.

“When someone is physically out of shape, they typically understand that eating well and exercising more will help get them back on track,” said Wimbish. “With money, however, there’s a lack of understanding about the importance of designing a plan. Only a third of adults have some type of financial plan or a simple household budget in place, which means most Americans don’t have the roadmap needed to improve their financial health.”

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