Divorce can have harsh financial consequences for couples of any age, but especially for those over 50. According to a new report from Bloomberg, there is a disturbing trend of “gray divorce” causing financial devastation across the country.
With the late-life divorce rate doubling since 1990, this is causing an alarming number of divorcees to live in poverty. Even wealthy Americans who divorce after 50 find the process expensive and emotionally draining.
According to new research, couples who break up after 50 can see their wealth drop by approximately 50%. The standard of living for women drops by 45%. Older men may find their standard of living decline by 21%. American women age 63 and older who get a divorce experience a poverty rate of 27%, even higher than widows. These numbers paint a stark picture of many older divorcees struggling to recover from the financial shock of ending their marriages.
Gray divorce can have chilling health consequences too. People who go through a gray divorce have higher rates of depression than those whose spouses die. Divorce can lead to a significant amount of weight gain, particularly for men. Additionally, divorce can cause adults to have higher blood pressure.
Gray divorces are surging
Couples after age 50 are still divorcing at increasing rates, even while the overall divorce rate is declining. At the very least, researchers predict that more than 828,000 U.S. adults over 50 will be divorcing every year by the time 2030 comes around. This is in comparison to 206,000 divorcees in 1990.
Research suggests that the best way to recover financially and emotionally from a gray divorce is finding a new partner. But this can be difficult to accomplish, especially for women.
These troubling findings show how important it is for divorcing couples to make smart decisions and do everything possible to protect their finances.