What Would You Give Up to Retire Earlier?

A global survey commissioned by ING DIRECT found Americans are less likely than people in other nations to sacrifice cars and pets to save money.

While 40% of Americans said the current economic situation will cause them to retire at a later age, and of those, 34% think they will have to work 10 or more years than originally planned, 30% said their vehicle would be among the last three things they would sacrifice to save money. Italians (14%) and Spaniards (18%) were more inclined to give up their vehicles, according to a press release, while only Brits (30%) love their cars as much as Americans.

Nearly a quarter of Americans (22%) said their pets would be among the last three things they would sacrifice to save money, compared to 17% of Canadians, 15% of French, and 12% of Italian respondents.

However, almost half (46%) of U.S. respondents said they would avoid making credit card purchases to save money, and more than half (51%) said they would cook more at home or bring lunch to work.

Among U.S. respondents, having a financial buffer in case of emergency is the number one savings goal, selected by 35% of respondents. Saving for retirement ranked third, with 16% of respondents picking this as the most important savings goal.

Love Lost?

The survey suggests that love might not conquer all when it comes to the current economic recession.

Nearly three in 10 Americans (29%) said the recession has "added stress to," "strained," or even "ruined" their marriage/relationship, according to a press release (see “Love Lives not Immune to Recession”).

The survey found the current economic recession is splitting up and straining more marriages and relationships in America than in eight other major nations. Twelve percent of respondents in Germany, 24% in France, and 23% in Canada said the recession has "added stress to," "strained," or even "ruined" their marriage/relationship.

"Whether it's at home, in the boardroom or in the car showroom, people around the globe are affected by the recession," said Arkadi Kuhlmann, president of ING DIRECT USA, in the release.

The online survey was commissioned by ING DIRECT and conducted by TNS in nine countries where ING DIRECT operates, including Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria. In the United States, the survey took place between May 26 and June 9, among 1,052 adults age 18 and older.