Men are happier in retirement than women

28th May 2013

A new study by Skipton Building Society in the UK has explored all aspects of retirement and found that for men, the twilight years are amongst the best of their life.

Men thoroughly enjoy getting their teeth into new hobbies and interests and are happy to spend time chilling out at home. 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, which happily in Guernsey should be less of a problem.

Skipton International's Managing Director Jim Coupe comments, "After the highs and lows of a long working life it seems that retirement too can present its challenges. Women in particular, seem to be more prone to worrying about money, boredom and ill health, whilst men, on the other hand, seem less concerned with life's immediate necessities."

For women, a happy retirement relies on a good social life – indeed, 56 per cent try to regularly meet up with friends compared to just 33 per cent of men, something which should be relatively easier in Guernsey, as according to the latest population census, women outnumber men in absolute terms, with the 2012 States data showing a total female population of approximately 32,000 as against a male one of 31,000. The 65-69 age group has seen significant growth in the years between 2007 and 2012, increasing in size by over 22 per cent as the first of the baby boom generation reach retirement age. In numerical terms though, both groups are almost identical in size – 1636 females as against 1613 males

When it comes to missing aspects of work, 62 per cent of retired ladies admit they miss the banter they shared daily with colleagues, in contrast to 44 per cent 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 per cent of men, but while 73 per cent of ladies and 65 per cent 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.

Interestingly, the results show 48 per cent of men love every minute of their retirement, compared to 38 per cent 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 per cent hate shopping anyway. And whereas 32 per cent 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 per cent compared to 51 per cent 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.

Jim Coupe ends, "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.

For many, retirement is the start of their life. Understanding your financial position, your offshore savings, 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 that both men and women can agree on.