7IM research reveals worrying gender divide when it comes to retirement regrets

by | Jan 31, 2023

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Research from 7IM reveals that women face a dangerous cocktail of concerns, being more likely to regret their retirement decisions and feeling less confident that their retirement savings would allow them to maintain a comfortable lifestyle, compared to their male counterparts.

The survey of 505 fully or semi-retired UK adults aged 55 and over, which was commissioned by 7IM and conducted by Cicero/amo, set out to gain a clearer understanding of the issues impacting the at- and in-retirement market in the UK. 

The initial findings highlighted that retirees are crying out for robust, flexible retirement solutions and that around 1 in 3 retirees (32%) would make different decisions about what they would do with their retirement savings if they were given another chance. When split by gender however, the research revealed that nearly 4 in 10 women (38%) had regrets about their retirement decisions compared to just over 1 in 4 men (26%). 

Just as worrying is that just 36% of women felt very confident or extremely confident that their savings would allow them to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in retirement compared to 52% of men.


Drilling deeper, a key reason for this stark difference in confidence could be down to the contrasting views between men and women on the retirement options available to them. According to the research, 36% of women felt that either there was not enough choice when it came to finding the right retirement solution or they were simply unsure what their options were. This compares to just 21% of men who had the same dilemma.

Verona Kenny, Managing Director, Intermediary at 7IM commented: “Just why such a stark difference exists along gender lines is something we should all give serious thought to so that we are equally meeting the needs of male and female retirees. As an industry, we have failed clients of both genders by not innovating in the at- and in-retirement space, but clearly, women are feeling the lack of innovation and support more sharply than men.

“The same ingenuity that has been successfully applied to accumulation now urgently needs to be focused on the retirement phase. I sincerely hope the recent announcement that there is to be a thematic review of retirement income advice provides the impetus our industry needs to finally get it together to do that. 


“We need to innovate and provide robust, flexible retirement income solutions along with the guarantees retirees are crying out for. No one provider can be all things to all people, so we need to work together to ensure advisers have the right tools at their disposal when advising their clients at- and in-retirement. Continuing to fail advisers and their clients by not innovating in this area is simply not an option.”

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