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The Silver Splitter Generation

The Office for National Statistics has concluded from a recent study that due to dramatic increases in life expectancy many more couples reassess their home life in later years.

With the implementation of pension reform the access to pension capital for those approaching pension age (55 years plus) has opened up a world of options, where perhaps none appeared palitable. Previously, the liquid available capital may have meant the choice of new home on separationwas restricted given possibily the mortgage options were  limited. Now, pension funds can be tapped (subject to taxation at the persons marginal income tax rate for money over 25%) the world may become an oyster rather than was a clam.

There is obviously a more relaxed attitude to divorce amongst the so called baby boomer generation in comparison with their parents and it is generally accepted that they have enjoyed greater financial prosperity than any previous generation before them. They therefore have the financial independence  and are able to take the robust view, "you're never too old to be happy”.

While certain commentators have talked about men experiencing a delayed mid-life crisis I personally think it is most likely the fact that the combination of people living longer, enjoying better health and having enjoyed despite, "blips” the longest sustained period of economic growth not interrupted by war and depression since records were cared about.

This is not confined to the United Kingdom it is also reflected in studies in America. Do we now see the forty year itch?

I suppose with longer life and better health it is becoming increasingly unrealistic for people to live together forever. Mind you, it is of any age a significant change to a lot of people to find themselves together without the distraction of children or the escape work offered for 8 - 10 hours in a day.

From the figures gathered it is clear the overall divorce rate has fallen markedly since its peak in the early 1990s although for men aged over 60 the trend has reversed significantly. Amongst men the divorce rate fell from 13.6 per 1000 in 1991 to 10.8 in 2001. However, for men aged over 60 the rate rose from 1.6 per 1000 to 2.3!

This has been the first ONS produced specific study on the subject and it comments that in 1991 men aged 60 were expected to live a further 21 years but now 26 years.

For many of us retirement can trigger a wider reappraisal of our lives. It is for individuals to make  up their mind as to how they wish to live their life but to do so in the context of expert legal advice. If you find yourself in this position speak to a specialist in family law.

Myself and Marie Whittaker offer a free initial private consultation for anyone who is considering the future of their relationship.