HomeFinance NewsFinanceCouples Over 50 Escape Unhappy Unions, Risking Financial Ruin for Women

Couples Over 50 Escape Unhappy Unions, Risking Financial Ruin for Women


‘Gray divorce’ has doubled since the ’90s — and the financial risk is high for women


Divorce among older adults, known as “gray divorce,” has significantly increased in recent decades.

The rate has doubled since the 1990s for those over 50 and tripled for those over 65.

This trend is particularly concerning for women, who often face severe financial consequences.

One of the main factors contributing to financial vulnerability after gray divorce is the disproportionate income differences between men and women.

Women typically earn less than men and have fewer savings.

Additionally, older women are less likely to have worked throughout their lives, making them more reliant on spousal income.

The economic impact of gray divorce for women is substantial.

Household income typically drops significantly, and women may face poverty in old age.

They are less likely to remarry or cohabitate, which further limits their financial resources.

Social Security benefits based on a former spouse’s earnings are generally lower than benefits based on their own earnings.

To mitigate these risks, women should take an active role in household finances, ensuring they are aware of all financial decisions and have access to their own money.

They should consider investing in their own retirement accounts, even if they are not currently working.

Strategic planning for Social Security claiming can also provide financial protection in case of divorce or widowhood.

Additionally, women who intend to leave the workforce to care for children may benefit from prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that protect their financial interests in the event of divorce.

These agreements can provide a guaranteed stream of income or other provisions to ensure that their contributions to the home and family are recognized.

By taking these steps, women can better safeguard their financial well-being and reduce the potential negative consequences of gray divorce.

  • Overall sentiment: negative
  • Positive

    “Steps women can take protect themselves.”


    “It has tripled for adults over 65 years old.”

    “So-called “gray divorce” puts women at high financial risk.”

    “Breaking up in old age can be costly, especially for women.”

    “Studies suggest women’s household income generally drops between 23% and 40% in the year after a divorce.”

    “The economic effects are “less severe” for men, with some studies showing their income may even rise after a breakup,”

    “Many older adults who divorce today adhered to the traditional notion of a man as a household’s sole breadwinner, they said.”

latest articles

explore more