173 Men and Women Retirement Differences

Based on research by Kim, Jungmeen E, & Moen, Phyllis. (2002), written by Juanita N Baker, Ph.D.

Do men and women have similar retirement experiences?

Developmental psychologists Jungmeen Kim and Phyllis Moen recruited from large organizations in New York white couples born 1922-44 and interviewed them twice, two years apart. Some were working, just retired or retired for two years. They found retirement is a complex process and depends upon gender, prior psychological resources, and the spouse’s status.

Males experienced positive life satisfaction changes during the 1st year post-retirement, especially for those who had lower morale on the job. However, men retired for two years reported greater increases in depression and this depended upon their spouse’s status, with less depression when wives were not working. This relationship did not occur with women retirees. Changes in income adequacy affected men’s morale but not women’s, while marital quality mattered more for women’s happiness than for men.

Both genders felt less psychological well-being when they had poorer physical health. However, their sense of greater personal control led to increased morale and less depression.

Take control in retirement. Problem solve together about both of your concerns, finances, relationship, and optimal health. Work towards your own and encourage your partner’s dreams and full potentials, even in retirement!


Kim, J.E. & Moen, P. (2002). Retirement Transitions, Gender, and Psychological Well-Being; A Life-Course, Ecological Model. Journal of Gerontology: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 57B, 3, 212–222.

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