Even later in life, peer pressure has the ability to make people do things they might not do otherwise, like save more for retirement.

A new consumer survey by the ING Retirement Research Institute found that more than half of all respondents said they would be motivated to save more for retirement if their nest eggs didn't measure up to those of their peers. Twenty-seven percent said that the size of their retirement account was an important attribute for benchmarking themselves against others—much more significant than their material possessions (17 percent) or salary (16 percent).

Nineteen percent of those who are already retired said they still want to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to quality of life and financial independence.

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