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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Retirement Diversity

Women and Retirement[i]
         I suppose that most readers of this blog entry know that women tend to follow different career paths than husbands. Some times they wait to work until they have raised their family while others choose to work while their children are growing up. Some women never enter the labour force and quite a few single women remain steadily in the work. It has been reported that “Few studies have looked at how women adjust to retirement or at what retirement means to them.”   Like their work life, women have more diversity in their retirement than men and have large differences with retired men.
         Robert Atchley after much research has developed one of the models of retirement stages and he “…says that different factors shape male and female attitudes to retirement, and different factors lead to life satisfaction for each group.  It is his view that “…women’s retirement is indeed a separate issue compared to men’s.”  As time marches on it appears that women’s patterns of work are becoming more similar to men’s.
         Interestingly, women’s retirement may mean a big drop in income because many women do not have a pension plan. Older women also tend to have different retirement needs than men and need to get more knowledge about pension plans. All this is relevant because there is still a discrepancy between how long men and women are expected to live.  There is a way to deal with it for couples. They can agree to have a lower pension while both are alive and when the husband dies; his wife will continue to get the same amount

[i]  In Novak, M. & Campbell, L. (2001) Aging & Society: A Canadian Perspective             (4th Ed)  Material taken from Chap 10  Retirement and Work, pp 185-186

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