It is becoming increasingly common for couples to decide to break up after they have entered retirement. The so-called “gray divorce” has seen a double in popularity since 1990 in the United States, with one quarter of all divorces now involving people over the age of 50.
It is seen to be a rising phenomenon because older people seek to live rich and exciting lives when they reach retirement. It is thought that people have higher expectations than ever of how much happiness and contentment they should feel, especially during their retirement years.
Why is gray divorce becoming so popular?
Like divorce at any age, gray divorce is no longer a taboo subject. Therefore, modern couples feel more empowered to put their own happiness over the judgement of their friends and family.
However, when it comes to divorce during retirement, perhaps a more compelling factor is that people tend to live a long time into their retirement. This means that they want to make choices that will be good for their lives in the next 20 or 30 years.
There is also less economic dependence between couples. If both spouses have their own retirement plan, then it makes no difference from a financial perspective whether they are married or not.
Online dating, among other factors, has also made it easier than ever for retired people to meet to partners and move forward with their lives.
If you are considering going through a divorce in your retirement, it is important to understand the big change that you are considering for your life and its possible implications.
Source: Forbes, “Gray Divorce: ‘Til Death Do Us Part?,” Neale Godfrey, accessed Feb. 23, 2018