According to a recent study released by the Pew Research Center divorce rates among the 50+ crowd has nearly doubled since the 1990s. So-called “gray divorces” are up to 10 in every 1,000 from 5 per 1,000 in 1990.
“Research indicates that many later-life divorcees have grown unsatisfied with their marriages over the years and are seeking opportunities to pursue their own interests and independence for the remaining years of their lives,” states the report.
This desire to live out one’s days feeling happy and fulfilled – combined with a reduced stigma of divorce – has led to the increase in divorce among boomers.
“What’s pushing gray divorce is people are living longer and they feel more entitled to living fully,” certified financial planner Lili Vasileff told MarketWatch.
According to the Pew Research report, Baby Boomers had unprecedented levels of divorce in their young adulthood, and “their marital instability earlier in life is contributing to the rising divorce rate,” since remarriages tend to be less stable than first marriages.
Long-term marriage doesn’t necessarily mean stability either. Among adults 50 and older who divorced in the past year, about a third of them had been married for at least 30 years, states the Pew Research report.
Divorcing later in life has its downsides, however. The research show, “gray divorcees tend to be less financially secure then than married or widowed adults, particularly among women.”
“When people get divorced they don’t really understand how hard it’ll be financially,” Douglas Lyons, a certified financial planner and certified divorce financial analyst told MarketWatch.