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More Than Half of Americans Avoid Discussing Personal Finances, eMoney Advisor Study Finds

  • Of 2,500 respondents polled, 63% of U.S. adults have never consulted a financial advisor
  • Of those who work with an advisor, 30% admit to hiding information about spending

RADNOR, Pa. – August 26, 2019 – According to a recent survey, 57% of U.S. adults purposely avoid talking about personal finances with their friends. Conducted by eMoney Advisor (eMoney), a leading provider of financial planning software, the results confirm the majority of Americans do not feel comfortable discussing money and rarely seek professional help to manage their finances, which can ultimately perpetuate poor spending and saving habits.

Polling 2,500 U.S. adults, eMoney’s survey was launched in conjunction with its new mission of helping people talk about money by making financial planning more accessible.

Click to download the complete infographic.

The findings show Americans pay close attention to their money, with 47% reviewing their personal finances daily, but talking about it is difficult. Nearly half (43%) report feeling stressed, embarrassed or confused when talking about their personal finances, and 20% never talk about money with other people.

Which Topics Are Most Taboo?

When asked to identify which personal finance topics respondents were least comfortable discussing, more than one third (34%) said their bank account balance, followed by:

  • Salary (22%)
  • Credit card debt (18%)
  • Retirement savings (9%)
  • Investment choices (9%)
  • Student loans (8%)

Less Americans Are Seeking Professional Help

The reluctance to talk about money coincides with economic conditions impacting Americans’ ability to save: one third of respondents said they live paycheck to paycheck. Furthermore, the majority of Americans aren’t seeking professional help to navigate their personal finances:

  • 37% rely on parents or family members the most for advice
  • 30% rely on their spouse
  • 22% rely on a financial advisor
  • 63% have never consulted a financial advisor

Perhaps the most telling stat suggests that those who do seek professional help are sometimes dishonest about how lifestyle choices impact their finances: 30% of those who work with a financial advisor hide information from them about their spending habits.

“The reality is many Americans are struggling to find financial security and properly plan for the future. It’s a burden we’re seeing more people take on independently instead of honestly talking to friends or family or seeking professional help,” said eMoney CEO Ed O’Brien. “We encourage anyone struggling to navigate personal finances to consult a planning-led advisor to get on track.”

Currently, more than 60,000 financial professionals across the country rely on eMoney’s solutions to deliver collaborative financial planning to nearly 4 million households.

“Today’s top advisors have shifted their business models beyond recommending products. They realize that clients benefit most from an interactive, planning-led approach,” O’Brien said. “They work together to accomplish financial goals, big and small, throughout various stages of life. It’s our job as an industry to promote the power of planning and make it more accessible to help people across income levels and financial situations achieve financial peace of mind.”


Survey Methodology

The study was conducted by online research company Pollfish. Respondents were composed of a nationally representative sample of 2,500 American adults aged 18 and above. The survey was fielded from July 17th and 19th, 2019.

About eMoney Advisor, LLC
eMoney Advisor, LLC (“eMoney”) provides technology solutions and services that help people talk about money. Rooted in comprehensive financial planning, eMoney’s solutions strengthen client relationships, streamline business operations, enhance business development and drive overall growth. More than 60,000 financial professionals across firms of all sizes use the eMoney platform to serve nearly 4 million households throughout the U.S. For more information, please visit: www.emoneyadvisor.com.  

Media Contacts:
Joanna Armandi
eMoney Advisor
(610) 684-1100, x4214

Nicholas Koulermos
5W Public Relations
(646) 843-1812