Are men or women happier with early retirement?

University of Rochester psychologist Ladd Wheeler studied nearly 400 men and women who took early retirement and found most of them reasonably content. However, he says, men had the edge on happiness."The men studied came mostly from professional and managerial jobs, the women from clerical ones," Wheeler explained. "So the men's incomes, before and after retirement, were much higher and men had fewer financial worries."

The high-status job holders (mostly men) tended to view retirement as the chance to pursue other interests. Those in low-status jobs often thought the early retirement offer was a signal to leave. "These two mindsets could also explain why the men seemed happier," he said.