Americans may be more ready for retirement than we think, according to a new survey.

A report released on Wednesday by Merrill Lynch and generational research firm Age Wave finds that people are utilizing a variety of strategies—including working part-time in retirement and cutting back on certain costs—to make it through their golden years.

This despite the fact that 81 percent of Americans say they do not know how much they will need to fund their retirement.

“One thing remains certain: Retirement is life’s most expensive purchase,” said Lorna Sabbia, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of retirement and personal wealth services. “When we asked Americans what they are seeking in terms of preparation, accumulated wealth or peace of mind, people were more likely to say peace of mind—yet peace of mind is very personal. It’s more a feeling than having a specific number.”

While most studies on retirement readiness portray a widening gap between the amount Americans should be stashing away and the amount they actually save, the study, “Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions,” suggests that pre-retirees may bridge that gap in other ways—and that Americans are often far more resilient, creative and flexible than they’re given credit for.

Three long-term trends are impacting the retirement landscape, said Sabbia: the transition of baby boomers into retirement, increasing life expectancy and real and potential declines in employer- and government-funded retirements.

Yet a defined contribution plan is the most popular entry point to retirement savings—more so than the retirement of a loved one or a landmark in their personal lives.

“The study revealed that the most common trigger for saving is having an employer who offers a retirement plan and who provides information on how to take advantage of that plan,” said Sabbia. Millennials, aged 25-39, seem to be the most responsive to the call to increase personal savings for retirement, according to Sabbia “Another positive sign,” she said.

Baby boomers and Generation Xers do not have the same luxury of time, but are willing to make trade-offs before and during retirement to ease the financial and emotional burden on their families.

For example, 91 percent of the study’s respondents said they would make healthier choices now to reduce potential expenses later in life, and 68 percent would consider purchasing long-term-care insurance.

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