• Women are more likely to take up new hobbies, while men nurture their DIY skills

• Women are more likely to volunteer, while men get a paid part time job

• Most common things to do in the first year of retirement are travel, relax and exercise

People retiring soon might expect to spend their time with their partner, but research by The Saga Annuity Service suggests this may not be the case. The survey of 9,000 retirees shows that men are happy to stay at home and do DIY during their first year of retirement, (men 53%, women 28%), while women will be out learning new skills or taking up new hobbies (women 30%, men 21%)*.

For either sex, it appears the key is to keep busy and enjoy a new lease of life. But while newly retired women are keen to keep their minds active, with a fifth enrolling in a course, men’s love of shiny new toys keeps them busy, as a quarter buy a new car in the first year of retirement.

In fact, further research suggests that many recent retirees might follow their dreams of learning a new language, as one in eight hope to get round to doing this at some point in their life. Whereas, one in ten could use retirement as an excuse to finally get round to learning how to play an instrument – something they’ve always wanted to learn how to do**.

For some, hobbies and DIY aren’t enough to give the same a sense of fulfillment that they had at work. However, while women are willing to give up their time for free by volunteering for a charity (women 30%, men 23%), men prefer to get a paid part time job (men 19%, women 13%).

Despite the fact that some couples have different interests, men and women do agree on some priorities for their first year of retirement, such as; going on holiday (60%), relaxing (49%) and exercising more (37%).

It seems people are busier in retirement than they were when they worked, as respondents say that being retired gives them the opportunity to do all the things they’ve always wanted to do, like reading more (53%), travelling (50%) and spending time with family and friends (48%).

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “Some people dream of retiring from the moment they start work, but in reality lots of people struggle when they don’t have something to get up for each day. So it’s important that people develop some sort of routine and make the most of the free time. Something that motivates or inspires people, like learning a new language or having regular guitar lessons, could prove vital to people’s mental and physical wellbeing in retirement.”

Things we do in retirement

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