According to TIAA Voices of Experience 2016 survey, men were more likely than women to say they found the transition to retirement “easy” (77% vs. 69%). This echoes a 2015 MassMutual survey, where 70% of retired men said they were “extremely” or “quite a bit” relaxed, while 65% of women felt that way. Hong Kong University shows that compared to women, men are more likely to feel lonely, depressed or angry. On the one hand, women can release such negative feelings through social interaction while men always hide such feelings in front of people. On the other hand, retired men have to narrow their social circle intensely, and significant change about their social and family role. While women just lose one social role, with the family role remains. For many family, children have grown up at this stage with relieves women from heavy household. It is common that men would become “older” then women after a few years of their retirement.
In China, after women retiring from work, there are several typical types of life they would like to choose. From the news I have picked up several stories and classified them into different types.
“Housewife” Taking care of the whole family would be most common. Women are willing to live with their children to look after the grandchildren, especially for those women who have sons. Meantime, they are also responsible for taking care of their parents. Retired women could be very busy involving the family trifles.
Name: Pin Li
Age: 56 retired 6 years
Life story: She worked in a public institution before retirement. After retired, her life are filled with so much housework that only on weekend nights can she go out of home to do some leisure. “Granddaughter is everything”, according to her. However, men in a family also take responsible. “Our parents are not in a good health condition and they have to be companied all the time. My husband and I take turns to take care of them. After granddaughter was born, my husband who is working at night has to help me take care of our parents. He is also work hard in the family”. For her, the young generation is all her life, she thinks the life now is “tired but happy”.
Work keep working is another way to occupy all the free time that seems idle, especially for those lower income women. By working, women can maintain the social identity and have a substantial life.
Name: Hua Yang
Age: 55 retired 5 years
Life story: She was a worker at a cotton mill. In the second year of retirement, she came to work again. However, it is difficult to find a job at this age. “Making money is not important, I just want to find something to do otherwise I will feel nervous”. She is now working as a cleaner at a property management company. Lots of employees are like Hua Yang who work after retirement. They all enjoying the life after retirement.
Leisure There also a family type with higher income and have no granddaughter to take care. Women from this kind of family have leisure time and money to enjoy their lives.
Name: Feng Rui
Age: 55 retired 5 years
Life story: She has been to 20 cities after retirement. “I know how to live a tasteful life. I devoted myself in tourism rather than just sightseeing”. Every travelling she would spend more than two weeks. She has tried to living in a tent and car. “Travelling is an attitude of life”. Besides go travelling, she also likes to do yoga, cycling, swimming, walking and so on. In her opinion, retirement means enjoying life.
Sadness Even though retirement is not a terrible change in life and often bring new and happy opportunities, for those who lost husbands and other accidents in their life, life can be much harder.
Name: Li Li
Age: 55 retired half a year
Life story: she just lost her husband three months ago. Retirement become a dual disaster for her. The only thing she can do is doing housework to get her away from those sadness. Her only spiritual support is her daughter.