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If They Could Do It Again, 46% of Retirees Would Retire Earlier

Forget about those stories of retirees longing to extend their working careers — a new survey finds that nearly half of recently retired workers wish they had retired … sooner.

The survey of retirees between ages 62 and 70 found that nearly half (46%) wished they had started their retirement sooner — if they could ensure the same level of financial security they had when they actually retired. The survey found that the average “sweet spot” of earlier retirement was four years sooner than respondents had actually retired.

In addition, the survey sponsored by New York Life revealed:

  • 51% of retirees who were 60 or older when they retired reported they would have preferred an earlier retirement.

  • There was no gender gap — 47% of men would have retired sooner, and 46% of women would do the same, and while men would have retired 4.53 years sooner, women weren’t far off, at 3.96 years.

In the survey, a national sample of 750 retired adults aged 62-70 with at least $100,000 in investable assets from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel was interviewed online, with an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points.