Recent Rise in Divorce Rate among Baby Boomers Guest Post by Scott Morgan
Are you living happily ever after with the man or woman you married and promised to love to the end? If you are, congratulations. You are one of a very small minority. But if you are like many of us, life has not been so rosy. There have been ups and downs, struggles and disappointments,and many moments of uncertainty about the fate of your marriage. Sometimes that uncertainty can lead to deep communication, resolving of long lasting difficulties, and returning to a state of love. Many people, however, reach a point in their later years when they are no longer willing to compromise, to remain in the status quo, or to “work” at their relationship. These people are part of a growing trend toward later life divorce.
Recent Rise in Divorce Rate among Baby Boomers by Guest Writer Scott Morgan
While divorce rates for the overall population have leveled off during the past few decades, one segment of the U.S. population where the divorce rate has been rising fairly dramatically is the baby boomers segment. As we’ll discuss below this has some troubling ramifications for baby boomers and society as a whole.
Divorce Rate Has Doubled in Past 20 Years
According to U.S. Census data, from 1990 to 2010 the divorce rate among people over the age of 50 doubled. In 1990 less than 10% of all divorces involved a spouse over the age of 50. By 2010 that percentage had risen to over 25%. Somewhat surprisingly a survey done by the Pew Research Center showed that when asked whether they would prefer to remain in a bad marriage or get divorced, 66% of baby boomers preferred divorce as compared to only 44% of younger survey participants. This study also showed that baby boomers were much more likely than the general population to believe that the main purpose of a marriage was to seek happiness as opposed to raise children.
Ramifications of Higher Baby Boom Divorce Rate
While sometimes a boomer couple will agree that divorce is the best option for both parties, the national trend towards more divorces for baby boomers has troubling ramifications. Gerontologist.oxfordjournals.org by sociologists Lin and Brown found that divorced baby boomers face significantly greater challenges financially, socially and with health issues as compared to their married counterparts. In terms of their family relationships, Tandfonline.com this report showed that of the adult children whose parents went through a mid or late-life divorce about half reported that their relationship with one or both parents changed to what they described as a negative relationship.
The financial implications of a late-life divorce are significant as well. A couple that has been saving for retirement is usually basing those plans on a life together and a certain level of expenses based on their shared life and home. Obviously, the equation changes dramatically when you take that same nest egg, split it into two shares, and then the parties go on to have separate lives and the added expense of separate homes.
While there are a many good reasons individuals should look at alternatives to divorce before taking that step these studies make it impossible to ignore the current trend and the difficult situation it places a lot of baby boomers.
About the Guest Author
Yes, divorce is an option. But if you have invested many years of time, energy, love and money in your marital relationship, isn’t it worth spending a little more time to communicate and reach out to re-create the love you once felt?
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