Younger Affluents Want to Retire Early and Make Money Too

Monday, May 11th, 2015
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The young and affluent are retiring earlier than their Boomer parents.

High net worth Americans, or those with more than $1 million in investable assets, plan to retire by age 56. Average holdings for these retirees tend to be $3.2 million, but the younger the millionaire, the lower the target retirement age.

A recent study by BMO Private Bank finds that one in five Americans with more than $1 million in investable assets plans to retire before 40. While most want to spend their retirement traveling, over half intend to keep earning income by working part time, starting a new career, or launching their own business.

In fact some 33% of retirees with $1 million to $5 million in assets continue working, not because they have to, but because they want to. Half have shifted into a different line of work to pursue a passion, experience new things, or enjoy greater flexibility.

Jack Ablin, CIO of BMO chalks this phenomenon up to the Millennial mindset. They share different priorities than their Boomer parents. They’re less tied to a single career path and more easily maneuver through various income-producing positions throughout their working life. That leaves them more focused on their quality of life than on an individual job.

What can marketers do with this information?

Millionaires in their forties or early fifties have retirement or some kind of lifestyle change on the mind. Young, wealthy retirees (or potential retirees) may be your best mail order candidates. Many are still earning income, while their portfolio growth may outpace their spending. They’re looking to use their financial freedom to feed their intellect and find new activities, which is why checking the mail and finding new opportunities could be one of their favorite parts of the day.

A few ideas jump right out at me…

  • Invite them to join arts and culture organizations — theaters, museums, historical societies.
  • Offer continuing education, career coaching, life transition, and personal growth materials and programs.
  • Lower the age demographic for marketing retirement services and portray younger, active adults in marketing materials.
  • Present them with alternative investments geared toward accredited investors.
  • Market extended guided vacation packages such as bike tours.
  • Offer real estate investments such as vacation homes and property in retirement community destinations.


The young, wealthy retirement community presents a lucrative audience expansion opportunity for many types of marketers. Of course the key is identifying young high net-worth individuals, not just high-income earners. In order to retire, there must be a nest egg of at least $1 million, which many young “retirees” plan to grow.


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