Relationship satisfaction and money pooling among older working and retired couples in Sweden. By: Kridahl, Linda and Duvander, Ann‐Zofie. 2024. Family Relations. Vol. 73 Issue 2, p1278-1295.

Objective: This study explores whether relationship satisfaction among older individuals living with a partner is influenced by partners’ status of working or being retired, and whether the degree of pooling money affects the association. Background: Couple’s spending decisions are likely influenced by the partner with the greatest bargaining power, which may lead to different levels of relationship satisfaction. However, any role of partners’ statuses on relationship satisfaction may change when adjusting for how partners organize resources. Method: The subsample consists of older respondents in the Swedish Gender and Generations Survey 2012–2013 (n = 1,737). The analytical approach is logistic regression where the outcome is whether the respondents are completely or not completely satisfied with their relationship. Results: Working respondents with a working partner were less satisfied with their relationship compared to retired respondents with a retired partner. In models considering the gender of whom is retired or working, respondents in couples with a working woman and a retired man were also less satisfied than retired respondents with a retired partner. However, this association disappears when adjusting for degree of pooling. Conclusion: In couples where the woman retires earlier than the man, it can have a negative impact on relationship satisfaction when the partners do not pool money. For couples with the same status, pooling seems to matter less. Implications: Financial educators, practitioners, and policymakers may acknowledge that retirement and working status of older partners play a role for relationship satisfaction, and how partners organize resources may be one area that provides a potential explanation for such problems.