Would You Make Sacrifices to Retire Early?

A new survey found that Americans seem more willing to delay retirement than to cut back their current lifestyle.


Retiring in the near term might require a few sacrifices if you haven’t saved enough. Some people are willing to cut back on common expenses in order to be able to retire at a younger age. A recent survey found that many Americans are already spending less money by avoiding unnecessary purchases (64 percent), saving energy (57 percent), spending more time at home (57 percent), and cooking at home (51 percent). Only 6 percent of Americans say they would not sacrifice anything to save money.

Yet, there are quite a few things retirement savers are reluctant to part with. The top things Americans say they would not sacrifice to save money, according to the survey by ING Direct and market research firm TNS Global, are food (39 percent), their vehicle (30 percent), a home (26 percent), pets (22 percent), and modern gadgets or technology (21 percent). Americans prized their cars and pets far more than the other developed countries surveyed including the Canadians, French, Italians, and Spaniards. Only the British prioritize their access to cars as highly as Americans, the survey found. Sizable portions of Americans also said they were unwilling to part with vacations (20 percent), small luxuries and pampering (20 percent), entertainment such as sporting events, theater, and dining out (18 percent), and fashion (17 percent).

Many Americans in the survey indicated they would be more willing to retire later than to downsize their current lifestyle. About 40 percent of Americans think the recession means they will need to delay retirement. Far fewer Americans are willing to postpone buying a new vehicle (29 percent) or a home renovation (22 percent).

Tell us, would you make sacrifices to retire earlier?