Affluent Americans aren’t the only ones who plan to retire early.

More than a quarter of Americans say they will retire before age 65. Many of these people have set themselves up for success by connecting with a like-minded partner, having a willingness to talk about finances and using their parents’ financial success as a benchmark, according to the Allianz LoveFamilyMoney Study of 4,500 Americans.

“It’s encouraging to see evidence that incorporating good habits and following good examples can lead to a better chance of retiring on your own terms, and on your own schedule. While these survey respondents have not yet achieved early retirement, it’s useful to know how they expect to get there, and what skills they are using to reach that goal,” said Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of Consumer Insights. 

Also see: Weighing the real costs of retirement-age employees

Many assume that a wealthy upbringing is essential for an early retirement, but Allianz found that those who plan to retire early were no more likely to describe their family growing up as wealthy/affluent, or financially comfortable, than people who planned to stay in the workforce longer.

Those who expect to retire early did share some common traits:

  • Good habits. They and their spouse share a practical approach to money compared to those who never plan to retire.
  • They are married. These folks are more likely to be married than those who never plan to retire and a higher percentage of them are on their first marriage than those who never plan to retire.
  • They compare themselves to their parents. Twenty-one percent compared themselves to their parents when looking at how they were doing financially, compared to 14% who never plan to retire.
  • They are unafraid to talk about finances. Ninety percent said they can talk to their significant other about family finances compared with 77% of those who never plan to retire. They also have done more to teach their children about money, including encouraging them to work with a financial professional, Allianz found.

Having children didn’t change people’s perspectives about when they would retire, the study found, but they faced other worries. People who expect to retire early are more likely than other groups to worry about dying young (53%) compared with outliving their money in retirement (47%).
Also see: 7 habits of highly confident retirees

Allianz found that a greater percentage of those who expect to retire early have never experienced financial hardship as an adult, 46% compared with 31% of those who never plan to retire.

Those who plan to retire early make saving a priority and seek out expert advice, Allianz found. Those who plan to leave the workforce early describe themselves as careful, practical people who count their pennies and work closely with their partners to achieve the early retirement dream.

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