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Do Men or Women Worry More About Retirement?

Don't be fooled by the cultural stereotypes about fears of aging

By Anne Tergesen and MarketWatch

(This article previously appeared on MarketWatch.)

If you had to guess, who would you say is more worried about aging — men or women?


Though cultural stereotypes may suggest otherwise, the answer is men, and by a wide margin.


According to a new survey by Financial Engines, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that manages retirement accounts, of 552 adults ages 55 and older, only 29 percent of women say anxieties about getting older have sparked worries about retirement. In contrast, 40 percent of men report that aging is a major worry. (The survey included retirees and the currently employed alike: 51 percent of the men and 55 percent of the women surveyed identified themselves as retired.)



For example, while 49 percent of men are anxious about rising health-care costs, only 44 percent of women say the same. Close to one-third of men worry about losing a spouse prematurely, versus just 24 percent of women. And among men, 31 percent fret about adapting to a new routine, while 25 percent worry about getting bored in retirement — concerns only 20 percent of women share.


Overall, 51 percent of women say they are excited about retirement, versus just 41 percent of men, the survey found.



That is reflected in what women say they want to do in retirement. A greater percentage of women say they want to spend more time with friends and family, travel, volunteer, sleep, and simply “do nothing.” In contrast, men are more likely to say they want to pursue a hobby, reconnect with their spouse, and spend their kids’ inheritances.





Anne Tergesen is a writer for, specializing in retirement. Read More
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