Women more likely to work into old age

2006

Men across the world are much keener than women to retire early and put their feet up, a new survey has suggested.

The poll by insurance firm AXA of more than 8,000 people in 14 countries has argued that women, contrary to cultural stereotypes, actually have a much stronger work ethic then men.

Just a third of women wanted to retire early, compared with more than half of men, suggesting that women may be far more wedded to the world of work than their male colleagues, said AXA.

Women were also less likely to grasp the chance to give up work tomorrow if it was possible.

Just four in ten women said they would embark on a life of leisure at the drop of a hat compared with half of men.

This could well be because women did not see old age starting quite as early as men, suggested AXA.

Women did not consider people to be old until they were 74, seven years after men who saw people as over the hill at 67.

Women are ever increasingly responsible for contributing to or even providing the household income with their salaries.

Nearly half (43 per cent) of working women in the UK were the main bread winner in the household and their jobs were extremely important to the quality of family life.

The ideal age for retirement for men and women was very similar (54 and 55 respectively) but more women thought the retirement age should be increased.

More women (93 per cent) believed older people made better employees than men (88 per cent), although both sexes were very positive about older employees.

Steve Folkard at AXA said: "Women have work opportunities like never before in the modern world of work and many are scaling the heights of the career ladder to claim responsible positions and the financial rewards that go with them.

"It therefore makes sense that female workers would be more reluctant to give up the daily grind – despite the obvious appeal of an early retirement," he added.