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, 71 percent of men had some sort of a retirement strategy (written down or in their heads), while only 57 percent of women had one. Retirement confidence is also lower among women. Forty-five percent of women are either "not too confident" or "not at all confident" in their ability to retire comfortably, in comparison to 29 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 notes both men and women list traveling at the top of their list for retirement activities (67 percent). However, women place a slightly higher priority on spending more time with family and friends and volunteering (women 59 percent and men 57 percent), while 34 percent of men wanted to do some form of paid work by either continuing to work in their same field, starting a business, or pursuing an encore career compared to women (26 percent).
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.
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