Desperate house husbands

Posted in: Research Last updated: 13 Nov 2007

Britain’s live at home men getting a raw deal

New research from Engage Mutual reveals that men get a raw deal if they choose to stay at home whilst their partner goes to work.

With one in ten men in a relationship relying on their partner to be the sole breadwinner in the relationship (10%), the research shows that being a kept man brings less financial security than it does for stay-at-home wives and girlfriends. Just 6 per cent of women who are the only provider in their relationship say that they are happy to fund their husband or boyfriend’s living entirely, compared to 21 per cent of men who work and fully support their partners who do not work.

The poll of 1,600 people in a relationship is part of engage Mutual’s 3GB campaign which aims to understand how finances impact family relationships. The results show that women whose partners do not work are considerably less prepared to support them financially than if their roles were reversed. It also reveals some of the differences in the costs that men and women are prepared to cover:

Paying off credit

Perhaps most significant, given the current economic climate, is that 84 per cent of men who are the breadwinners are happy to pay off their partners’ credit card spending when they do not work, compared to 63 per cent of women who would do the same for their stay-at-home men.

Treats and holidays

Men who are breadwinners are more likely to say that they would pay for, or contribute towards, a holiday for their partner even if they were not invited (80% compared to 61%). They are also more likely to fund their partner’s socialising (76% compared to 59%) and their other half’s beauty treatments and haircuts (72% compared to 63%).

Future finances

When it comes to saving for the future and ensuring financial stability, male providers are far more likely to contribute to savings or pensions for their stay-at-home partner than working women (86% compared to 72%). They are also 17 per cent more likely to pay for their partner’s health or life cover (90% compared to 73%).

Further findings:

  • decline of traditional relationships: Following tradition, men are twice as likely to be the sole provider in their relationship as women (17% compared to 8%). However, fewer than one in five couples follow the tradition of the men working and the women staying at home (18%).
  • both working but not sharing finances equally: Of couples where both work, just 44 per cent say that they share their finances equally. Couples who are married or living together, and whose children have left home, are most likely to share all of their expenses (61%).
  • marriage and kids bring financial integration: Living together, getting married and having children all result in partners becoming more financially interdependent. For example, just 37 per cent of men would be prepared to contribute to or pay off their partner’s credit card bills when they are not living together. This increases to 73 per cent when they move in together and have no children, and again to 84 per cent if they have children.

Karl Elliott, 3GB Spokesperson for engage Mutual Assurance, commented:

“ This research shows that at a time when equal opportunities for women in the work place are high on the public agenda, men are not likely to have the same experience as women should they choose not to work.”

“It is important that financial organisations listen to the changing traditions and relationship dynamics in modern Britain. As well as supporting each other financially for day-to-day expenses, couples should also plan for their future. engage provide a range of simple savings products which couples can trust to give them financial peace of mind in the years ahead, whichever partner is the main contributor.”

3GB or ‘3 Generation Britain’ is an ongoing quarterly research initiative by engage Mutual to understand how financial ties impact on family relationships. More information is available at www.engagemutual.com/3GB

The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions.

engage Mutual Assurance can be contacted on 0800 169 4321 or by visiting www.engagemutual.com

Notes to Editors:

  1. this research was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of engage Mutual Assurance. The survey was conducted between 25th and 27th September 2007 and across a representative GB sample of 2,075 adults.
  2. if using this article on a website, please link to www.engagemutual.com using the following hyperlink text : <a href=http://www.engagemutual.com><b>engage<b> Mutual Assurance – meeting the changing needs of today’s modern families
    engage Mutual Assurance is a trading style of Homeowners Friendly Society (HFSL) and it’s wholly-owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL).
  3. engage Mutual Funds Limited (EMFL) is a provider of the Child Trust Fund direct and in partnership with partners including Legal and General, ASDA and Debenhams stores.
  4. engage supports mutuality, friendly societies and the regional financial services industry through links with the Association of Mutual Insurers, the Association of Friendly Societies, Mutuo and Leeds Financial Services Initiative.
  5. established in 1980, Homeowners Friendly Society Limited (HFSL) is Registered and Incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992, Reg.No.964F, it’s wholly owned subsidiary engage Mutual Funds Limited (eMFL) is Registered in England No 3224780. Both are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
  6. Homeowners Friendly Society Limited’s FSA Register number is 110072 andengage Mutual Funds Limited’s FSA Register number is 181487. You can check this on the FSA’s Register by visiting the FSA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk/register or by contacting the FSA on 0845 606 1234