A groundbreaking study has revealed that men revel in their retirement years, experiencing a level of contentment that surpasses that of women. The comprehensive investigation delved into various aspects of retirement and unearthed a stark contrast between the genders, indicating that men find their twilight years to be among the most fulfilling moments of their lives.
One of the key findings suggests that men wholeheartedly engage in new hobbies and interests, delighting in the opportunity to explore their passions while relishing the comforts of home. On the other hand, women tend to spend their later years consumed by financial concerns, lamenting their diminished income and feeling vexed by the need to carefully monitor their expenditures.
Moreover, women are more prone to experiencing feelings of loneliness during retirement, yearning for closer proximity to their loved ones. The study, commissioned by Skipton Building Society and based on interviews with 678 retirees, shed light on this disheartening reality faced by many women in their post-work years.
Stacey Stothard, Corporate Communications Manager at Skipton Building Society, shared her insights on the study’s findings, stating, “Although many women undoubtedly savor their retirement, our research highlights that they tend to harbor more worries than their male counterparts regarding certain aspects. Despite more women expressing eagerness to depart from their careers initially, they subsequently find themselves missing various aspects of work more intensely than men.”
Stothard continued, “After dedicating two to four decades of their lives to employment, it can be jolting for individuals to suddenly find themselves with twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week at their disposal. This newfound freedom affords women ample time to dwell on concerns about financial security, monotony, and declining health.”
For women, a joyful retirement hinges on the cultivation of a vibrant social life. Astonishingly, 56% of women make concerted efforts to regularly meet up with friends, whereas only 33% of men prioritize such gatherings. Furthermore, the study revealed that 62% of retired women openly confess to missing the jovial banter they once shared with colleagues, a sentiment echoed by merely 44% of men.
Tragically, eight in ten women find themselves grappling with a perceived lack of purpose once their employment concludes, a sentiment that afflicts only 54% of men. While 73% of both genders claim to possess a solid circle of friends for support, six in ten retirees of both sexes acknowledge that their social lives have dwindled since retiring.
The study did bring to light that 48% of men relish every moment of their retirement, while the corresponding figure for women stands at 38%. Three-quarters of men expressed unwavering confidence in their financial security, harboring no worries about the future. Notably, 34% of men are uninterested in fixating on monetary concerns and even admit to despising shopping.
Loneliness seems to affect women disproportionately, with 32% reporting such feelings, while only a fifth of men experience the same sentiment. The average man is content socializing with his seven closest friends on a regular basis, fostering a robust support network.
When it comes to making the most of their retirement, men exhibit distinct preferences compared to women. Men are more inclined to embark on vacations during this period, with 60% indulging in trips compared to 51% of women. Additionally, men embrace outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, and exploring historical landmarks, while women tend to focus on domestic pursuits like cooking, gardening, reading, and joining clubs to pass the time.
Stothard concluded, “Every individual should aspire to a gratifying retirement. After dedicating a lifetime of hard work, it is only fair to desire such fulfillment. While some aspects of retirement remain beyond our control, many others lie within our grasp. In the case of today’s and future generations of retirees, it is entirely feasible that a third of their lives will be spent in retirement. Therefore, it is crucial to shape these post-work years into the experiences we desire.”
“Similar to other significant life events, the earlier we plan, the better the outcomes. Not only does proactive planning allow us to spend our retirement engaging in activities we cherish, but it also compels us to address potential areas of unease, such as financial stability, shared interests, travel aspirations, and family commitments. Couples who embark on this journey, regardless of their financial means, are more likely to relish a fulfilling retirement compared to those who have given little thought to their post-work years,” Stothard advised.
As the study shines a spotlight on the disparities between men and women in retirement, it is hoped that policymakers and individuals alike will take notice, endeavoring to bridge the gender gap in financial security, social connectivity, and overall well-being during this crucial phase of life.