You can understand keeping secrets from your spouse, your friends, maybe even your priest. But a new study shows 29% of Americans, or nearly one in three, admits to lying to their financial adviser, the person they hire to try to plan for retirement, 1200 WOAI news reprots.
"I think what you'll find a lot of times is that people are embarrassed," said Wendy Kowalik, president of the prominent San Antonio financial planning firm Predico Partners. "They are embarrassed to say they are struggling in their marriage or they racked up debt."
She says following the recession, many people simply don't want to admit that they lost money in the markets, maxed out their credit cards, or made other dumb financial moves. Some are afraid the financial planner will belittle them, others are afraid the financial planner may not think they have enough in assets and won't take them on as a client.
More than half say the information is 'too personal' but Kowalik says financial planners are like lawyers and priests, they are obligated by their code of ethics to keep personal matters confidential.
"All of us in the planning industry really work under the idea that we keep everything confidential," she said. "It's one of the key parts of what we do."
Other reasons that people withhold information from a financial planner--they don't want to hear the planner tell them to decrease their spending, increase their savings, or make major sacrifices in order to reach their goals. Some also hesitate to tell the truth about our health.
Only 11% say the don't tell the financial planner everything because they don’t' trust their financial planner.
Kowalik says withholding information from a financial planner is counter productive. She says the planner wants to come up with the best customized plan for the client, and it is not unusual for her to have to redo financial advice when she gets the real story of the client's situation.
But she says she would never laugh at anybody.