Poll Shows 44 Percent Eyeing Early Retirement--What Will It Take to Make It?

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Two-thirds of respondents to a recent poll conducted on leading financial Web sites MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org said they plan to retire before age 65. Of these, a majority indicated plans to retire before age 60. This optimism is contrary to many economic predictions that Americans will have to work longer to afford a comfortable environment, but early retirement isn't out of reach for those who plan and save early.

MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org

"Despite the poor state of retirement preparedness in general these days, people who have taken control of their finances seem to be more optimistic," says Richard Barrington, personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com.

In an online poll conducted by leading financial Web sites MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org, a majority of respondents indicated a rosy view of their planned retirement age.

The poll asked, "At what age do you plan to retire?" More than 2,500 respondents were spread out among the following categories:

  •     Before 54 (22 percent)
  •     55 - 59 (22 percent)
  •     60 - 64 (22 percent)
  •     65 - 69 (19 percent)
  •     After 70 (15 percent)

This means that two-thirds plan to retire before the official retirement age of 65, and 44 percent plan to retire before the age of 60. These planned retirement ages stand in contrast to the Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, which indicates that only 28 percent of workers nationally expect to retire before age 65.

"Despite the poor state of retirement preparedness in general these days, people who have taken control of their finances seem to be more optimistic," says Richard Barrington, personal finance expert for MoneyRates.com. "Both MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org are geared toward people who want to take responsibility for their financial future and who are actively seeking information on improving their savings and money management habits. The relatively high portion of this audience that still plans to retire early shows that taking responsibility can pay off."

Those who actually end up retiring by age 60 would be ahead of their peers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the average age of retirement is approximately 62. Because government benefits such as Social Security and Medicare don't become available until later, achieving the goal of retiring by age 60 depends heavily on personal savings. And, according to Barrington, even people who are able to save diligently will have to overcome major obstacles to be able to retire early--including low interest rates on deposit accounts, a decade's worth of poor stock market returns, and high average household debt burdens.

Inevitably, these barriers will prove too great for some, says J.D. Roth, editor of GetRichSlowly.org. "Many dream of retiring early, but they'll have less time to earn money and less time for that money to compound. If you retire early, you'll have less money saved and it will have to last longer than if you waited. Even if you stay healthy and the economy cooperates, that's asking a lot."

But with a commitment to savings and wealth-building strategies, it is not unrealistic to dream of an early exit from the workforce. "People are more likely to succeed when they have a desirable goal," says Barrington. "For many people, early retirement is certainly an attractive incentive. If people are planning ahead and actively working toward that goal, there's no reason to believe they can't achieve their desire to retire early."

For more of Barrington's details and analysis about the poll results, visit http://www.money-rates.com/news/Despite-Anemic-Returns-Optimism-About-Retirement-Goals.htm.

MoneyRates.com and GetRichSlowly.org visitors can access educational articles and interest rate reports to help them with setting and achieving their financial goals in any economic situation.

MoneyRates.com has been a leading source of information on bank rates, personal finance, savings accounts and investing since 1999. The site provides the highest rates on certificates of deposits, money market accounts and high-yield savings accounts.

GetRichSlowly.org--currently the top finance blog as ranked by Technorati--is an online community devoted to sensible personal finance. Since 2006, GetRichSlowly.org has provided thousands of active readers with a forum to learn about and discuss saving money, eliminating debt and pursuing practical paths to accumulating wealth. The site is among "The Top 100 Personal Finance Web sites," according to Liz Weston of MSN, and has been named "The Most Inspiring Money Blog" by CNN's Money magazine.

Richard Barrington of MoneyRates.com and all writers at GetRichSlowly.org are available for interviews on this and other topics relating to personal saving and investing. To request an interview, please contact:

Jessica Austin


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Jessica Austin
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