Men vs. women in retirement

This content is categorized as:

You may remember the best-selling book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, by John Gray. It was a cultural phenomenon back in the 1990s, focusing on how men and women look at the same elements in a relationship from very different points of view. More than two decades later, it turns out this concept also applies to how men and women plan for and experience retirement.

Here are some key differences in how they plan for retirement financially and emotionally.

How they save
When it comes to planning financially for retirement, men tend to have more of a vision in terms of achieving their goals. According to a survey, 75 percent of men had some sort of a retirement strategy (written down or in their heads), while only 60 percent of women had one. It was found that many more women (51 percent) than men (38 percent) guessed how much they would need to save to create a secure retirement. Retirement confidence is also lower among women. Only 20 percent of women are “very confident” in their ability to retire comfortably, in comparison to 34 percent of men.

How they plan emotionally
While men may place greater importance on financial planning for retirement, they lag slightly behind women when it comes to putting together "emotional portfolios." Women placed greater importance on making emotional plans for retirement — planning for happiness, essentially.

The same survey also notes both men and women list traveling at the top of their list for retirement activities (65 percent), as well as spending time with family (57 percent). For women, pursing hobbies in retirement is a less common goal (44 percent) compared to men (47 percent). However, women are more likely to dream of doing volunteer work (27 percent vs 22 percent of men), but desire to spend less time compared to men doing some form of paid work, such as starting a business, pursuing an encore career or continuing work in their current field (27 percent vs 38 percent of men).

A lesson in balance
Men and women can learn from each other when it comes to retirement planning. A financial strategy is critical to retirement success and planning should start early. However, it’s just as important to put together an emotional portfolio and plan for happiness. One supports the other and neglecting either one could jeopardize your chances of a well-rounded retirement.

Discuss your and your spouse’s wish list for a meaningful retirement with your financial professional. Then, as a team, you can develop a financial strategy that allows you both to retire to your best lives.

This information is brought to you by Athene — where unconventional thinking brings innovative annuity solutions to help make your retirement dreams a reality.