The Washington Post reports that overall, the divorce rate since 1990 in New Jersey and across the entire country has become stable and even decreased across almost every age group. However, for couples older than 65, the rate of divorce has more than doubled.
The event can be particularly troublesome for older single people. The American Association of Retired Persons notes that the end of a marriage for those older than 65 can bring about serious financial implications. People in that age group become more likely to depend on public benefits such as Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.
Yet despite the disadvantages of separating at that age, more and more couples are choosing to do so. Bowling Green State University researchers took a look at why the numbers are on the rise. They found that more than half of the couples who opted for a divorce had been married for at least 20 years. The main cause for the dissolution? The pair had simply grown apart.
What’s more, the scientists concluded that those who encounter a “gray divorce” are more likely to experience financial trouble. They determined the following about people who go through a divorce in their older years and lack stable financial means:
- There is an increased risk of becoming impoverished.
- Older Americans who have gone through a gray divorce average only 20 percent of the wealth of their married peers.
- People who are widowed have more than twice the wealth of people who go through a divorce after 50.
Due the serious financial repercussions involved, people who are well-prepared for a divorce may be better equipped for the aftermath. Getting the right legal representation and financial planning in place might prevent a dire situation.