"Men and Women View Retirement Very Differently."

August 7, 2023

"Men and Women View Retirement Very Differently."

May 29, 2023

MIT’s AgeLab’s Joe Coughlin wrote this interesting Forbes article about the idea that men tend to see retirement as the final chapter while women see it as a fresh start (this post will focus exclusively on heterosexual relationships since that was the focus of MIT’s study).

After reading this article and co-leading our successful “Reframing Retirement” workshop in March, I’ve come to believe that MEA needs to offer more workshops for couples exploring retirement, maybe with a handy therapist nearby. On the whole, men see this era of life as a destination, while women view it as a journey. Men see it as a reward and a time to hunker down for long-overdue rest and relaxation. At the same time, women feel like it’s now time to explore and discover, often after feeling liberated from family care obligations and old life scripts.

As reported in the story, the words that men conjure up when thinking of retirement are “rest,” “relax,” and “hobbies.” In contrast, women of the same age described life after work as “freedom,” “peace,” and phrasing like “time for me.” Women look at this life stage as a time to reflect on what they want and to pursue delayed dreams.

Husbands may also see this as the time to connect more with their wives, partly because men don’t keep up with their friends like women do, so these friendships evaporate. Conversely, wives have a more robust social portfolio and are more interested in trying new things, maybe becoming a beginner again. In short, without some awareness, these different perspectives could lead to some marital strife.

I’m often asked whether MEA is good for couples. I can say pretty universally that MEA is like an insurance policy for your marriage. It creates a collective opportunity to dream about your future with a new, learned language, candor, and compassion that may not have existed recently.

I look forward to seeing you in Baja this year. You don’t have to talk about retirement or finances, but you do need to feel able to talk about subjects that might be harder to explore in your normal day-to-day life.

If you can’t make it to Baja, MEA has created a "Reframing Retirement" 5-day online course that starts August 28 with all kinds of thought leaders. Check out the introductory price and the special discount if you bring a friend. Kari Cardinale, who creates our online programs, is a master at developing “digital intimacy” so I highly recommend you consider this, especially if you’ve seen Kari’s magic with our Transitions or Purpose online courses.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

No items found.

Love's Journey: Transforming Our Relationships with Dené Logan

March 4, 2024
 to 
March 9, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Learning to Love Midlife with Chip Conley

Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Learning to Love Midlife with Chip Conley

March 12, 2024
 to 
March 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Mar 12, 2024
 to 
Mar 17, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Coming Into Your Own: Reconnecting with Who You Are and What You Want with Christine Carter

March 18, 2024
 to 
March 23, 2024
Baja, Mexico