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Americans now opting for travel before house, marriage, kids


30 and 40-somethings are giving ‘early retirement’ a completely new meaning! With more disposable income, flexible hours and retirement looking very different today than it used to, the next generation isn’t waiting around for the retirement lifestyle but rather living with the ‘no more not yets’ mantra!

A just-released study dissects the life choices + priorities of American 30 and 40-somethings, revealing a major shift in their life achievement timeline from previous generations – with traveling to new areas of the world as the number one ‘Bucket List’ priority and marriage and career coming in second and third, respectively.

The new study – which randomly selected 1,000 men and women across the U.S. age 30-49 – was conducted by third party research firm, Mortar, for Flash Pack. As part of Flash Pack’s No More Not Yets campaign, this study took a close look at the next generation of retirees analyzing how their biggest ‘not yets’ in life have changed from previous years and what this group is—and isn’t—willing to put off until later in life.

While the findings show marriage and owning a home continue to be top life goals, the new results conclude that an increased number of 30 + 40-somethings are willing to postpone these more traditional goals for later in life in order to experience the world now and achieve success, prioritizing aspirations such as career and traveling the world.

A few key highlights:

• Traveling the world was the number one ‘bucket-list’ goal, over marriage, children, career and owning a home.

• 54% would rather invest in experiences while they’re still young than save for a house.

• 43% would like to advance in their career before getting married and having children.

• Working in a dream profession is a goal that’s over three times more desirable than having children.

• 44% would like to have amazing experiences before getting married or having children.

• 84% of respondents wouldn’t think twice about spending $4,000 on the trip of a lifetime while 66% would hesitate at spending the average $33,391 on a wedding. (and that number surprisingly goes up to 71% when asking females only!)

• Respondents aren’t waiting around for friends to join them on their travels – 62% said they’ve either considered booking a solo trip in the last year or have in fact, traveled solo for pleasure this past year.

The fact that adventure travel is now a driving force for today’s 30 and 40-somethings doesn’t mean that parenthood is out of the picture but it no longer carries the weight that it once did. And without this pressure, a new wave of aspirations has had room to surface.

Also factoring into the ‘enjoy life now’ mindset, according to the data, is a fear that retirement may not be all it’s cracked up to be:

• An astounding 80% said that seeing their aging family members with ailments and restrictions, makes them want to live for the moment, and spend their retirement funds now.

• 88% of respondents have some fears that they actually may not be able to travel post retirement – with 55% worried they may not have enough money saved and 53% nervous they may not be healthy enough to travel after retirement

The study found that the life-affirming ‘Bucket List’ experiences this group aspires to includes watching the Northern Lights, cooking with a Michelin-starred chef, and staying on a private island.

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About the author

Chief Assignment Editor

Chief Assignment editor is OlegSziakov