For men, the retirement years are amongst the best of their life, according to the findings of a new survey conducted by Skipton Building Society.
In contrast, women are more likely to spend their later years worrying about their lack of income, and feeling frustrated at the need to watch every penny.
Women are also more likely to feel lonely in retirement, and wish they lived closer to their family.
Stacey Stothard, corporate communications manager at Skipton Building Society, which commissioned the study of 678 retirees, said: “Although many women do enjoy their retirement, this study shows they tend to worry more than men about certain things. Despite more women than men feeling ready to leave their jobs in the first place, they go on to miss more aspects of work than men do.
“After spending between 20 and 40 years in employment, it can be a shock to the system to find you have 24 hours a day, seven days a week to yourself. And this new found freedom gives women plenty of time to think about money worries, boredom and ill health.”
For women, a happy retirement relies on a good social life – indeed, 56% try to regularly meet up with friends compared to just 33% of men.
And when it comes to missing aspects of work, 62% of retired ladies admit they miss the banter they shared daily with colleagues, in contrast to 44% of men. Eight in 10 women often feel that they have no purpose left in life now that they aren’t in employment, compared to just 54% of men.
And while 73% of ladies and 65% of men say they do have a good circle of friends to rely on, six in 10 men and women say their social life has petered out since retiring.
But the results show 48% of men love every minute of their retirement, compared to 38% of women. Three quarters of men have absolutely no worries about the future, and feel they are sitting comfortably financially.
Four in 10 men have decided not to spend all their time worrying about what money they do and don’t have, and 34% hate shopping anyway. And whereas 32% of women feel lonely, only a fifth of men can say the same – the average man is happy to socialise with his seven closest friends regularly.
Men are more likely to book holidays during their retirement than women – 60% compared to 51% of ladies. And men are also more likely to spend their time walking and hiking, visiting historical landmarks and finding things around the house to fix.
Women are more likely to cook, tend to the garden, settle down with a good book or take up extra clubs to while away the time.
Stothard added: “Everyone should aim for a happy retirement – you’ve worked hard all your life so surely you deserve that? While there will always be some factors outside of your control, there are plenty of others that aren’t. For today’s and the next generation of retirees, it’s quite feasible you could spend a third of your life in retirement so your post work years really are what you make of them.
“Like with all big events in life, the earlier you plan, the better. Not only does this mean you can work towards spending your retirement doing the things you want – but it also means that you’ll have identified areas of possible unease – such as money, shared interests, travelling, family commitments and will have considered their significance. Couples who do this, regardless of how much money they have, are more likely to enjoy a happier retirement than those who haven’t given much thought to their post work years.
“What makes one person happy can differ significantly from another. So why not take stock of what really interests and motivates you. For some people it’s having a sense of achievement; for others it’s having a specific project to manage; and some people simply thrive from office camaraderie. There are plenty of similar things to do outside of work that offer the same challenge and enjoyment.
For many, retirement is the start of their life. Understanding your financial position and where you need to be to be able to do the things you want to do is a key part in the happiness stakes – something I’m sure both men and women can agree on!”