In an article for Forbes, MIT AgeLab Director Joseph Coughlin describes the clear difference in loneliness reported for retired men and women, as well as the many negative health impacts of being lonely. Longevity planning is about living well in later life, not just financial planning. Without rich social connections, health, even coupled with ample wealth, might still result in unhappiness in older age. It appears that men, in particular, must work harder than most women to invest and build their social portfolio.
While the pandemic did not help anyone’s social connections, men compared with women have been on a steeper downward slide for years. One survey indicates that between 1990 and 2021, the percentage of men reporting that they had “no close friends” increased 5X. Even what I would characterize as male party animals appear to be having their own challenges. The percentage of men reporting 10-plus friends has spiraled downward from 40% in 1990 to 15% in 2021.