Many wealthy Americans are rethinking their vision of retirement planning, according to a new survey of the affluent.

Given the opportunity to do it again, roughly half, or 51 percent, of the retired Americans surveyed indicated that they would have focused more on their life goals, and less on “the numbers” and on hitting a specific nest egg dollar amount when planning for retirement. However, the other 49 percent indicated they would have focused more on “the numbers,” according to Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly survey.

Retirees who wished they had focused more on their "life goals" indicated that they would have spent more time determining how they wanted to live in their retirement years (38 percent) and based their retirement income needs not just on a number that would sustain them, but on one that would help them live their ideal lifestyle during these years (13 percent).

In addition, 8 percent would have created a plan to better support their philanthropic missions. Among those who indicated that they would have focused more on "the numbers," 23 percent wished they had started working with a financial advisor earlier in life and 18 percent would have given up more luxuries in order to reach their retirement goals. Among all retired respondents, three out of 10 (31 percent) worked with a financial advisor when planning for retirement, though, in hindsight, more than half (55 percent) wished they had started doing so sooner.

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