Gray Divorce & How Working In Retirement Might Just Save Your Marriagehttps://theccdm.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/featured-image.jpg 300 282 admin admin https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a589a3afac77d2fd7e2c0838e5e896b6?s=96&d=mm&r=g
By Joseph Coughlin
Alice and Henry were attending a retirement seminar for those in their 60s and 70s when the topic of divorce in later life came up. The facilitator revealed that it was most often the wife who asked for divorce after age 50. The women in the group started nodding in unison.
Then laughter erupted when the discussion turned to why older women sour on their marriages. While infidelity and money were causes for some, boredom or “he bores me” was a major reason women decided to make the exit. As I argue in my new book, The Longevity Economy, when thinking about the future of older age and retirement, the future is female and many men may find that out the hard way.
The men began to understand that the joke was on them.
With Henry standing a half step behind her, Alice lamented that now that he was retired, he was always around, a constant presence in the house. “I married him for life, not for lunch,” she said with a wry smile.
Retirement is often envisioned as a life stage where a couple finally gets time together. The kids are gone, the work is done; now there is time for us. But that uninterrupted time together may not always be the reward that many assume as they plan for retirement.
Since 1990, divorce rates for those over age 50 years old have doubled while declining across all other age groups. In fact, data indicates that since 1960, “gray divorce” in the United States has increased 700%.
Likewise, in the United Kingdom, divorce after age 50 has become so common that older divorcees have their own name – silver separators. Japan has seen divorces in 30-plus year marriages increase by four times in the last couple decades, garnering the name retired husband syndrome.