“You don’t have to be born lucky with money as you start out in order to retire early,” said Katie Libbe, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life. “The people that plan to retire early did just that. They made it a priority. They made it a plan.”
Allianz Life commissioned the January 2014 survey of 4,500 people with incomes of more than $50,000, and it has since released several sets of findings. In this batch, 25.9 percent of the respondents said they intend to retire before age 65.
The average retirement age has barely budged for a decade, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and in 2013 stood at 64 for men and 62 for women. Meanwhile, participation in the labor force for people over age 65 has been increasing for years, and stood at 22.1 percent for men and 13.8 percent for women in 2010, up from 17.7 percent for men and 9.4 percent for women in 2000.
But that doesn’t mean early retirement is out of the question. Here are six of the most common behaviors Allianz Life found that early retirees share:
Have happy marriages. Early retirees tended to describe themselves as in sync with their spouse. Some 76 percent of these people were married, compared to 68 percent of the people who never planned to retire, and they were also more likely to be in their first marriage. And 90 percent of early retirees found it at least somewhat easy to talk about money with a spouse or significant other, well above the 77 percent of people planning to never retire.