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HOPE Reports
HOPE Report: Aug 2007
HOPE Report: Baby-Boomers Heading into Retirement 3: Spousal Relations
An overwhelming majority of boomer men & women want to live happily as a couple after retirement
There are signs of rapprochement between boomer spouses, but some differences remain
  • Around 30% of men want to cook & cooking classes are their top enrichment lesson choice
  • Women's score for talking retirement over as a couple is around 15 points lower than men's

Tokyo - August 9, 2007 - Hakuhodo's Elder Business Development Division (/english/) constantly monitors elder sei-katsu-sha (people aged 50 and over) through a variety of surveys and research. With Japan's baby-boomers beginning to head into retirement from April this year, we analyzed results of a survey into spousal relations and use of mobile phones/PHS among 428 men and women aged 58-60 in the Greater Capital and Kansai regions. Results of this analysis appear below.

Our findings show that around as retirement approaches, the post-retirement hope of around 80% of both male and female baby-boomers is to live happily as a couple. This is followed by pursuing hobbies (72.4%) for men and having my spouse cooperate in the housekeeping (58.8%) for women. Given that around 30% of men say they want to cook and to participate in (non-cooking) household duties, the spouses seem to be working toward a compromise in this area.

The top 3 enrichment lessons that men took up/would like to take up on retirement were cooking lessons, languages and gardening; while computer, sports lessons and languages were top with women. Here, too, we see husbands drawing closer to their wives through cooking.

While boomer men may have started to be more considerate toward their spouses in this way, there still appear to be some inconsistencies in their actions. Around 40% of both men and women say that as retirement looms, they have started to think more about their spouse than before. However, when we asked whether they had discussed life after retirement with their spouses, 62.4% of men said yes, while just 48.6% of women said the same. Perhaps boomer wives are not feeling quite as cared for as their husbands imagine. The gap between intentions and actions is one issue that still needs to be addressed if couples are to live happily together in the years to come.

In this survey we also learned that close to 90% of baby-boomers use a mobile phone or PHS, and that more than 90% have used their phones for e-mailing, roughly the same score as for calls. It appears that a mobile phone/PHS is now a necessary part of life for the baby-boom generation. Receiving TV broadcasts and making video calls received high scores as functions that boomers would like to try in the future. Boomers were also interested in positioning services.

Detailed survey data is presented below.

Survey outline
Period: March 2007
Territory: Area within 40 km of Tokyo; Osaka/Kyoto/Kobe
Respondents: Baby-boomers (aged 57-61): 298 males and 286 females; n = 584
Method: Internet survey

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