With an increased focus on the pay disparity between genders, women in the workplace are a frequent subject of studies. How many work? How many out-earn their husbands? How many make less than their male peers?
Meanwhile, we don’t often see many studies about men. Just how are men faring in today’s society? For starters, they’re still the majority household income earners. In the U.S., only 15 percent of men earn less than their spouses, a number that skews more toward the younger generations than older men.1
Traditionally, men have handled many aspects of finances in the household, including making decisions on insurance options. Today, however, it’s important for wives to be involved in these decisions. After all, women tend to live longer and may have to deal with the financial aftermath of their husband’s passing — ranging from issues such as a decreased pension to Social Security benefits to how to request a life insurance payout.
We encourage both members of a couple to meet with us when discussing their long-term retirement goals. Please feel free to schedule a meeting during which we can review your retirement income strategy with the both of you.
Another study found men may reap more benefits from work, or at least from working long hours. Women triple their risk of cancer and heart disease if they work more than 60 hours a week, while men tend to get healthier the longer they work.2 Men who work between 41 and 50 hours a week have a lower risk of heart disease, lung disease and depression than those who work 40 hours or less.3
With more women in the workforce, some husbands have picked up the slack in household chores; this is particularly true among younger generations. The view of traditional masculine roles and masculinity in general is transitioning. Researchers say we are currently at a crossroads between the conventional hallmarks of masculinity (toughness, stoicism, heroism, etc.) and more inclusive, caring and displaying emotionally expressive characteristics.4
That said, men also suffer from depression at a greater rate than previously acknowledged. The issue is that their symptoms may be different than what is known as typical. Instead of lethargy and isolation, some men exhibit depression through “substance abuse, anger, excessive risk-taking or other more stereotypically masculine behaviors.”5
1 Dan Cassino. Harvard Business Review. April 9, 2016. “Even the Thought of Earning Less than Their Wives Changes How Men Behave.” https://hbr.org/2016/04/even-the-thought-of-earning-less-than-their-wives-changes-how-men-behave. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
2 Sarah Knapton. The Telegraph. June 16, 2016. “Working long hours harms women but protects men, study shows.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/16/working-long-hours-harms-women-but-protects-men-study-shows/. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
4 Brendan Gough. The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. June 23, 2016. “Using Traditional and Contemporary Masculinity to Enhance Men’s Health.” http://division51.net/homepage-slider/using-traditional-and-contemporary-masculinity-to-enhance-mens-health/. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
5 Michael Addis. The Society for the Psychological Study of Men and Masculinity. July 8, 2015. “Men, Depression, and the Medical Model.” http://division51.net/homepage-slider/men-depression-and-the-medical-model/. Accessed Aug. 5, 2016.
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