Men are planning for their financial security in retirement but not for their happiness, according to a new survey.

The research, published in Psychology and Aging, suggests men could find retirement lonely and isolating unless they build social and leisure networks before they leave the workforce.

"Our finding is significant because a person's level of leisure involvement during their working years tends to predict their involvement during retirement," said the report's co-author, UNSW psychologist Dr Joanne Earl.

The survey revealed that more women than men plan for their health and leisure interests before they stop working.

"If the men we surveyed are representative, Australia's male Baby Boomers could be in for a tough time during retirement. There is a strong emphasis in society to plan and save money for retirement but I think the bigger questions are: 'What am I saving for?' and, 'What do I really want to do when I retire?'," she said.

Dr Earl and PhD student Alexa Muratore have developed a measure to assist people when planning activities for a happy retirement. Seventy percent of people completing the survey have said it helped them identify aspects of retirement worth considering. The survey can be completed here.

Read the full story on the Faculty of Science website.

Media contact: Dan Gaffney, UNSW Science Media | 0411 156 015