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30% of Americans Polled Would Give Up Sex to Retire Early, Study Says

A survey of 2,000 Americans found that three in 10 respondents would give up sex for five years in order to retire immediately.

They say that the road to financial freedom is all about early sacrifices but, for some, that can be taken to extremes — a recent survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by financial company Affirm found that three out of every ten participants would give up sex for five years in order to retire today.

Giving up drinking for the same five years seems to be even less of a problem, with 43% of respondents saying that this would be a worthwhile exchange for immediate retirement. Another 29% took things one step further and said that having no friends for five years would be worth it in the end.

"The fact that consumers would give up alcohol, sex and friends shows how much they value financial independence," Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, partner and financial expert at The Fiscal Femme, told TheStreet in an email. "It also shows that they are willing to make sacrifices to be able to retire early."

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The survey focused primarily on money anxieties across generations — while millennials worry more about finances than any other age cohort, money is a consistent source for all as the average American frets about it six times a day.

And, as the survey clearly shows, money also has a way of seeping into romantic relationships. About 51% of the surveyed millennials said the ability to manage one's finances is the top thing they look for in a partner, while 45% of all respondents said that a partner's ability to manage finances is more important to them than physical appearance.

Even more surprisingly, 68% of the participants who are actively looking for a partner said bad money management skills could be cause for a break-up.

But according to Feinstein Gerstley, planning for early retirement does not have to mean making massive all-or-none sacrifices: setting up a budget and getting making regular deposits into the savings account are much more sustainable while still making a big difference long-term.

"I'm a fan of the sneaky increase," Feinstein Gerstley said. "If you are not contributing as much as you'd like towards retirement, up your contribution by 1% every couple of months. The 1% is a lot less painful than jumping right to your final goal."