Some 60 percent of unmarried boomers are divorced. And that carries serious implications for the next generation: Who will care for those people, how will the emotional and financial costs of that care be shared - and what can society do to prepare for this demographic tsunami?
If you think divorce is more of a younger generation problem, you are mistaken. Divorce happens at all ages and stages, and the children of divorced boomers are starting to encounter the challenges of caring for their elderly parents on separate levels.
The evidence has been slowly coming in for a while, of course, but current articles have helped to publicly put the pieces together for us. For example, consider a recent article in Reuters titled “Double the trouble when divorced parents get old.”
In broad strokes, marriage is and has been an important institution for us. Not only does it order our daily lives, but it organizes our longtime finances as well. On the other hand, divorced persons simply have to plan that much more for their own old age, especially when it comes to the question of living alone and perhaps shouldering medical care by yourself.
More often than not, this actually is an issue for the adult children of divorced parents. After all, it’s already an era that calls for more and more care from children, but taking care of Mom and Dad is an entirely different concept when they are no longer together or there for each other.
For divorced individuals, this is definitely something to consider in your planning for the future. For families, this is a real and necessary issue to address with your parents as they go through life changes.
Reference: Reuters (October 22, 2012) “Double the trouble when divorced parents get old”