Americans think this is the ideal age to retire, buy a house

Whether you’re about to buy your first home or getting ready to retire, most Americans say there’s an ideal age sweet spot that they’d like to hit when it comes to reaching their financial milestones.

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Americans, on average, think the ideal age to retire is 61-years-old, while the optimal age to buy a home is 28, according to a new survey by

However, views the ideal ages for retiring did conflict slightly between generations, genders and regions.

Younger adults, particularly Gen Xers (ages 38-53) tend to be more bullish on the idea of retiring early. Of those polled, Gen Xers believe 60 is the preferred age to do it, while millennials (ages 18-37) say 61 is. Older baby boomers (ages 64-72) fall more on the conservative side, with estimates ranging between 64 and 65 years of age.

"Retiring at 61 sounds ideal. Unfortunately, that's not a realistic goal for many people today. A recent Bankrate survey found that not saving for retirement early enough is Americans' biggest financial regret. The bottom line is that a lot of people don't have enough retirement savings and with rising health care costs and people living longer, it's harder to save enough money to live off of for 30 or more years after you stop working,” Amanda Dixon, an analyst at, tells FOX Business.

As for the best age to start setting aside for retirement, most said 22, with 59% of Gen Xers saying it should ideally start on someone’s 21st birthday, which was 10 percentage points higher than other generations.


Other preferred financial age milestones include buying or leasing a car at 21, opening up a credit card at 22 and buying a house at 28.

Millennials, in particular, think it is ideal to open a credit card before turning 21 (63%), compared to older generations at 37%.

Dixon says millennials’ views on credit cards surprised her the most.

“Millennials have been afraid of racking up credit card debt, and as a millennial, I personally waited to get a credit card. But our data indicates that the tide is turning. Millennials are less averse to credit cards than they used to be and with many of them trying to buy homes, it makes sense that they would see that having a credit card at an early age is a useful way to build credit with the hope of qualifying for better rates on mortgages and other loans in the future,” she says.

There were also strong differences in opinion between genders. While nearly a quarter of men think you should strive to buy your first home by the time your turn 25, just 12% of women agree. Also, women estimate the dream year to retire is 62, while most men are hoping for 60 years old.

Also, northeasterners seem to have higher age estimates on milestones than the rest of the country. For instance, many think saving for retirement should start at 24 years of age and retirement should ideally begin at 63.

What’s more, they also have lower expectations for buying a home than everyone else, with nearly one in five saying the right age is 35 or older, which is twice as many as any other region.

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