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Consumer Reports Survey: Lifestyle Choices, not just Wealth Key to Satisfying Retirement


February Issue offers 15 ways to never run our of money

Consumer ReportsYonkers, N.Y – For many consumers the economic recovery isn’t so much crawling as stalling, but now is a good time to begin planning a future that’s secure. It may also mean creating a lifestyle that doesn’t place money at its core, says Consumer Reports in the February issue.

When the Consumer Reports National Research Center recently surveyed 24,270 online subscribers age 55 and up about their finances and satisfaction with their lives, it found some common keys to peace of mind that had little to do with big salaries or high living. While 75 percent of retirees who had $1 million were highly satisfied in retirement, satisfaction didn’t change much more as net worth rose beyond that. And half of those with less than $250,000 in net worth were highly satisfied in retirement.

Notably, retirees with regrets about past actions, opportunities missed, or misfortune, were less likely to be highly satisfied than those with no regrets. Fifty Seven percent of retirees in CR’s survey said they had regrets about financial decisions they made. Twenty-one percent of retirees wished they had taken better care of their health, and nearly as many (19 %) regretted not having developed lasting interests and friendships.

In its report, Consumer Reports offers 15 ways to ensure folks don’t run out of money on their way to personal satisfaction, while they work and after they retire. Consumer Reports’ survey respondents and the people they profiled in the story demonstrated their “best practices” that anyone can emulate. Employing just a few of them can pay off big-time in the long run.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Live modestly. For those millions of Americans currently out of work or underemployed, that is not a choice. But even when times improve, living within your means has its benefits. Retirees in Consumer Reports’ survey who were most satisfied with their situation credited living modestly as among the best steps they’d made earlier in life.
  • Start saving early. The survey found that retirees who began saving and planning early—say, in their 30s—had a greater net worth: $1.1 million on average, compared with $868,000 for those who waited until their 40s, and $651,000 for those who started later. Thirty-nine percent of retirees said they regretted waiting to save.
  • Work longer. Twenty percent of CR’s survey respondents worked part-time in retirement; 37 percent of that group said they needed the income. But the psychic benefits of continued employment also were important to many. More than half said working made them feel useful; 38 percent said they enjoyed work too much to give it up.

The Consumer Reports National Research Cente surveyed 24,270 online subscribers age 55. Consumer Reports subscribers may not necessarily representative of the US Population. For the complete story, subscriber testimonials and all 15 ways to avoid running out of money in life, check out the February issue of Consumer Reports available on newsstands January 4th and online at




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