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Why divorce risk may be higher for baby boomers

If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you part of the group stereotypically referred to as baby boomers. Estimates put more than 70 million people in this group. While baby boomers are known for having more disposable income than their generational counterparts have, if you're part of this group, you're also known for something else: an increased risk for divorce.  

Depending on where your exact birth dates falls within the baby boomer era, you may have vivid or somewhat vague memories of the "make love, not war" Woodstock times in history. Some say this type of free-spirited living also led to a self-interested generation of young adults who pushed the envelope of cultural norms and did things no other generation had done before them, including get divorced when they were not satisfied with their marriages. If you remarried after divorce, you may stand an even greater chance of another breakup.  

Reasons people divorce at age 50 or beyond 

No two marriages are exactly the same and like most people, you and your spouse may go through good times and bad times, affected by any number of circumstances and issues in life, including raising children, employment or location changes, world events and more. External issues can greatly influence your relationship. Researchers seem to cite some reasons more often as the causes of marital breakdowns in the age 50 and over crowd. Perhaps one or more of them resonate with you.

Increased longevity means you're likely to live with your spouse for many years beyond the average couple did 50 or 100 years ago. This poses a problem for some spouses who drift apart in older age and find their needs and goals are no longer satisfied by their relationships. 

Women are definitely more financially independent nowadays than they used to be. For some, financial stability provides confidence to break away from an unhappy relationship.  

Attitudes toward divorce have become far more lenient by society through the years. Many people who may have stayed in unhappy marriages to avoid the stigma of divorce now feel like they can end their marriages without fear of social repercussions.  

Perhaps you're one of many spouses who say they stayed with their spouses for the sakes of their young children. Now, your kids are grown and on their own and you may not feel as compelled to endure unresolved differences and relationship problems as you were when your kids were minors.  

Implications of gray divorce 

If you divorce at age 50 or more, you may experience various challenges, especially regarding finances. Retirement funds, 401k plans, Social Security benefits and other issues may affect the ultimate outcome of your situation. By tapping into available support resources, you can protect your rights and minimize the negative consequences of your divorce. 

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