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Early Retirement Not Just for the Wealthy

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More than a quarter of workers plan to retire before 65, according to the latest release from Allianz’s LoveFamilyMoney survey. Allianz found that goal had as much to do with planning as privilege.

The survey found the people who were planning to retire early were no more likely to identify as well-off than people who planned to work longer. What they did have in common was a spouse who shared their practical approach to money.

In addition to being more likely to be married than those who plan to work longer, respondents who aim to retire early said they find it very easy to talk with their spouse about family finances by a wide margin: 90% versus 77%.

They’re also much more likely to have a good example to follow. Over 20% said they compare themselves to their parents to see how they’re doing financially, compared with 14% of those who aren’t planning on retiring.

“It’s encouraging to see evidence that incorporating good habits and following good examples can lead to a better chance of retiring on your own terms, and on your own schedule,” Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of consumer insights, said in a statement. “While these survey respondents have not yet achieved early retirement, it’s useful to know how they expect to get there, and what skills they are using to reach that goal.”

The survey didn’t find that having children was a factor in respondents’ decision to retire early or not at all, however, those in the early retirement group who did have kids have done more to teach them about money: 14% versus 6%.

While early retirement hopefuls aren’t worried about their kids keeping them back, they’re very worried about dying young — more so than they are about outliving their money. Fifty-three percent of respondents who plan to retire early said they were worried about dying young, compared to 47% who said they were worried about outliving their money.

In fact, they’re less worried about running out of money than every other retirement group: 53% of those who plan to retire between 65 and 69, and those who plan to never retire agreed, as did 60% of those who plan to retire after age 70.

Early retirees are savers rather than spenders, but the survey found advisors play a role in their ability to stop working early. That group was more likely to say they get advice from a financial professional when making big financial decisions and in retirement planning.

For the study, Allianz surveyed 4,500 adults age 35 to 65 with household incomes of at least $50,000.

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