I read and hear about people who retire and soon afterwards return to work. Mostly they seem to be men, which begs the question, “Do men find retirement less fulfilling than women?”
The Bank of Montreal conducted a survey in January 2012 in which they found that women may adapt better to retirement because they are more able to cope with the transition from work to retirement. According to the article, women have nurtured families and friendships through the years and have that as a replacement for the work place, whereas men are usually more closely tied to their jobs and don’t have the same support system. (1) The unique challenges that women face, such as longer life spans, intermittent work histories resulting in smaller pensions and reduction of income due to widowhood or divorce, may give us a different perspective on how we appreciate retirement.
Personally, I love retirement. I get up when I choose, plan my day the way I want and feel more relaxed than ever before. It’s been seven years and I still pinch myself. All of my friends are retired, so we plan activities together during the time other people are at work. When we first retired, we continued to plan activities on the weekend until we realized we didn’t have to wait. Every day was the weekend!!!! What a revelation that was.
We plan excursions mid-week when rates are lower and route our outings to coincide with desirable traffic patterns. I have time for reading, writing, and gardening. Whenever I can get my extended family together at one time, I plan family dinners and spend time with my grandchildren. I’ve met new people in book club, scrabble group and dance and exercises classes. This is a most wonderful time of my life, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.
1. BMO Retirement Institute Report Survey; Harris Decima; January 2012 http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bmo-retirement-institute-report-men-143800572.html