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Retire early and rich? Maybe not

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Posted: 1 pm ET

More than half of working Americans (57 percent) with between $50,000 and $250,000 in investable assets, defined as the mass affluent, say they will retire later than planned. That's an increase of 36 percent from those who said the same thing a year ago.

A survey by Bank of America shows that despite more effort to get their retirement on track, the affluent are feeling more pessimistic about meeting their financial needs.

The greatest challenge is juggling the short-term financial needs with long-term saving and investing. That's a particular concern for baby boomers because they don't have as much time as younger employees to make up the losses their investment portfolios sustained during the recession.

The survey identifies three main areas of retirement concern for the affluent. Rising health care costs is the main one, according to 89 percent of respondents. Next is making sure assets last through retirement (83 percent) and third is affording the lifestyle they want during retirement (80 percent).

Politically, respondents rank health care legislation as the top issue for the next administration, followed by the future of Social Security benefits and the federal deficit.

To mend their own personal finances, 85 percent of respondents say they plan to focus on budgeting and planning for the next six months. That's up from 67 percent who said that in November. Specifically, they say they'll cut back on personal luxuries and entertainment, reduce day-to-day expenses and keep their car longer.

Have you found a way to balance day-to-day financial needs with saving for retirement? Share your tips.

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