Starting Your Retirement Plan 4 Years Earlier

A new study reveals the average retiree wished they hit retirement 4 years sooner.

What's the right time to retire?

Most of the discussions you hear about retirement these days have to do with retirees fearing they’ll outlive their assets or that health concerns may hinder retirement goals. However, a new study by the annuities and insurance providers at New York Life finds many current retirees were prepared – they just wished they’d gotten there a little sooner.

The study polled retirees between the ages of 62 and 70, all of whom had more than $100,000 in investable assets to support their retirement. By and large, the people they polled were happy with retirement and they felt secure moving forward. They only wished they’d started their retirement a little earlier – four years, on average, to be exact.

David Cruz, Senior Managing Director at New York Life explains, “What the survey shows is that retirees, if given the opportunity, would want four or five years at the front end of their retirement, when they are healthiest, most active and able to get the most out of their retirement savings.”

Essentially, the challenge that concerned these retirees the most was their ability to actually enjoy their retirement years the way they’d always envisioned. However, things like ongoing medical treatment and limited mobility may be hindering those dreams for people who retire too late. By the time these respondents retired, they felt they were limited in some way that they might not have been a few years prior.

Here are some of the details of the story:

  • 46% of respondents wished they could have started retirement earlier
  • On average, men wished they had retired 4.53 years earlier, while women wished they had retired about 3.96 years sooner, on average
  • Roughly 3 out of 4 of respondents (74%) believe a better understanding of retirement tools and financial investment products would have helped promote an earlier retirement date.

“Ensuring you retire with enough assets to ensure you don’t outlive your money during your golden years is important,” says Gary Herman, President of Consolidated Credit, “but if you delay your retirement too long in order to generate more post-retirement income, then you could find yourself limited in your ability to live out the retirement dreams you’ve always envisioned.”

Of course, Herman says, people who are at the age where they need to be focused on building retirement assets are often distracted by other financial concerns, like getting a new mortgage or auto loan or paying off high levels of credit card debt.

“It’s essential to keep your financial world balanced,” Herman continues, “and that means allocating time and money to a range of financial needs at once, ranging from paying off debt to saving long-term for things like retirement. If all of your funds are being used to pay off debt, you’ll have to play catchup to hit retirement down the road.”

If you’re struggling to strike the right balance in your financial life, we can help. Call Consolidated Credit today at or complete an online application to request a free debt and budget evaluation with a certified credit counselor.

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April Lewis-Parks
Director of Education and Public Relations

AParks@consolidatedcredit.org
1-800-728-3632 x 9344