In Focus: Advice for Women  

Money and identity worries affect women in retirement

Money and identity worries affect women in retirement

Money anxieties and a feeling of a loss of self-worth seem to affect female retirees more than their male peers, research has suggested.

According to analysis from Interactive Investor, retired workers dream about work for years after their retirement but particularly in the first and second year, with 47 per cent of people who retired less than two years ago dreaming frequently about work.

But these post-retirement anxieties over finances and self-identity seem to affect women more than men.

Ii polled 1,003 of its recently retired client base earlier this year and found giving up work has meant a loss of self-identity for 29 per cent of women compared with 18 per cent of men.

The research also found a higher proportion of women were anxious about their pension pots and income streams than their male counterparts.

Some 21 per cent of women were more likely to say they find money dreams worrying, compared with 17 per cent of men. 

Becky O'Connor, head of pensions and savings for Interactive Investor, said: “Retirement is a monumental life shift and carries with it a huge range of practical and emotional challenges.

"Leaving work behind might sound great in theory but in practice, for many people, it can mean losing their sense of self, as well as daily structure and a well-liked group of people."

However, the research also found that of the 36 per cent who dream about money, 28 per cent of people dream they are winning or being gifted large amounts.

But other money dreams are less positive: 16 per cent said they had dreamed about losing something valuable, 14 per cent had had dreams about being scammed out of money and 13 per cent imagined misplacing money.

O'Connor said: “The research suggests that retirement can also mean more money worries, as income dries up and you have to make a finite pot of money last. This can involve a new set of budgeting and investing skills that many newly retired people have to learn quickly.

"It’s no surprise that the financial dreams of the newly retired are a mix of optimistic fantasies of winning big and concerns about losing it all.”

simoney.kyriakou@ft.com