Why women struggle more than men with life after retirement: 80% feel they have no purpose in life after quitting work

  • Men enjoy starting new hobbies and are happy to relax at home
  • Women are more likely to worry about lack of income and social life
  • Survey questioned 678 retirees about life after work and found gender divide

By Becky Barrow

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Women are less likely then men to enjoy retirement and more likely to miss their working lives, a survey has found.

The research revealed eight in ten women feel they have no purpose in life once they have left their jobs, compared to just 54 per cent of men.

While men enjoy starting new hobbies and interests and are happy to just relax at home, women are more likely to spend their twilight years worrying – particularly about their lack of income and social life.

The survey found retired women were more likely to be affected by feelings of loneliness than men

The survey found retired women were more likely to be affected by feelings of loneliness than men

Feelings of loneliness affect retired women more than men and they are more likely to wish they lived closer to family.

The survey, commissioned by Skipton Building Society, questioned 678 retirees about life after work and found a striking gender divide.

Almost half of men said they were loving every minute of their retirement, against 38 per cent of the opposite sex. Nearly two thirds of the women surveyed – 62 per cent – admitted they miss having a daily gossip with colleagues, in contrast to 44 per cent of men.

 

The researchers concluded that a woman’s happy retirement relies on a good social life, with 56 per cent trying to regularly meet up with friends compared to just 33 per cent of men.

But six in ten across both sexes  said their social life had petered out since retiring.

While 32 per cent of women feel lonely, only a fifth of men say the same, with the average man happy to socialise with seven closest friends.

While men enjoy starting new hobbies and interests and are happy to just relax at home, women are more likely to spend their twilight years worrying

While men enjoy starting new hobbies and interests and are happy to just relax at home, women are more likely to spend their twilight years worrying

Men also felt more comfortable about their financial situation.

Three quarters said they have absolutely no worries about the future and four in ten have decided not to spend all their time worrying about money.

More than a third jokingly responded that they ‘hate shopping anyway’.

Men were more likely to book holidays during their post-work years – 60 per cent, compared to 51 per cent of women. Popular hobbies among the retired men included walking and hiking, visiting historical landmarks and finding things around the house to fix.

Women were more likely to cook, tend to the garden, settle down with a good book or join a club or class.

A spokesman for Skipton Building Society, Stacey Stothard, said: ‘Although many women do enjoy their retirement, this study shows they tend to worry more than men about certain things.’

She added that the research showed women felt more ready to leave their jobs in the first place but they later ‘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,’ she said. ‘And this new-found freedom gives women plenty of time to think about money worries, boredom and ill health.’

She said couples who plan their retirement are more likely to enjoy it ‘regardless of how much money they have’.

The pension gender divide


The comments below have not been moderated.

On retirement I divorced my husband and got a toy boy, Legs in the air and plenty of fun for me. I may be old, but I know how to enjoy myself.

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My pension when I finally retire at 65.5 yrs old will be about a tenth of my husband's. Why? because I couldn't work while carrying, giving birth to and caring for my children. I did part time work to supplement our income. If men had babies they would have to do the same. As it is most men abandon women to struggle on alone. Also, when I first worked in jobs that men were doing too I only got two thirds of their pay rate just for being unfortunate enough to be born female. I worked better and harder than the men too.

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Oh no there's a "gender gap". I guess we need more legislation to ensure women don't "suffer" when they retire. We can't have men enjoying life and while women are miserable.

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women make less money during their careers than men do, therefore, women have less to retire with. money may not buy happiness but it certainly can buy peace of mind in retirement! it is easier for single men to go 'out and about' on their own than it is for single women. a woman traveling alone isn't as safe as a man and therefore may not find traveling as much of an option as a man might...especially when the woman has less money to travel on! there are many more retired single women than single men...this may increase the 'fun' factor for men! ;-)

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I was down in Thailand a few years ago and saw all the white old boys having a whale of a time and i thought yes this is where i'm gonna be in my 70's

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I was down in Thailand a few years ago and saw all the white old boys having a whale of a time and i thought yes this is where i'm gonna be in my 70's

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Could it be that women have to work in retirement, running the home, while the men just laze around doing what they want? These days, many women are expected to look after their grandchildren with working parents, as well as looking after their own husbands and homes. Also, surely the difference in retirement income mentioned here must have some impact on how content people are. Finally, it is possible that women are more honest in answering the survey, while men are all macho and don't like to show the weakness of being unhappy. All these are points to bear in mind when looking at the results of this survey.

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Hmmmm. Do the results not depend also as to how likely, relatively-speaking, each gender is to wish to 'moan' in a survey? I mean, "Almost half of men said they were loving every minute of their retirement, against 38 per cent of the opposite sex."? 38% is nearly half, anyway. "Nearly two thirds of the women surveyed ¿ 62 per cent ¿ admitted they miss having a daily gossip with colleagues, in contrast to 44 per cent of men."? Work isn't for 'gossiping', anyway. More men enjoy their retirement, and less miss their jobs? Maybe men were doing more stressful jobs, and hence enjoy the break more (as opposed to spending time "gossiping")? Seems like yet another "poor little women" article. Perhaps some women might like to reflect on the fact that women enjoyed five years more retirement, despite living longer, until recently. Where were the "poor men" articles then?

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Well I have to chuckle and today's reading of the DM. First there is story about how 20 somethings are damaging their future careers by treating decade as downtime. Then in another story it claims that one in ten newlyweds are in debt. But if you get through your wedding, eventually you could end up in a bitter divorce and then you are at risk at having your husband kill your children. Then if you make it to retirement, women say they have no money or purpose in life. Gee wiz DM, thanks for making my day.

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I was under the impression that most female pensioners were looking after their children's children, so maybe those women weren't surveyed and only the ones who don't have grandchildren or don't look after them were surveyed.

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