Silver Splitters? More like Later Letters…

The ‘hottest new demographic trend’, according to the media:  as the divorce rate in the baby boomer generation climbs skywards, so it seems the number of divorced, retired renters grows too. 

Whether that figure is newsworthy or not, the real story to me is just how many more couples are ending their marriages in ‘later life’ than ever before.

In my own practice, I am seeing a real increase in the number of older ladies instructing me to start divorce proceedings after 3 and even 4 decades of marriage. Whilst there may be some divorcees who have little option but to rent post-divorce, I don’t see that situation often. The ability to turn pensions into cash, the fact that so many more women have their own wealth at this point in their lives, the almost unreal house prices locally, all tend to mean that there is enough, although sometimes only just, to go around. 

That doesn’t alter the fact that the so called Silver Splitter divorces do come with some real challenges for the divorce lawyer and that there will be those for whom a divorce signals not only the end of home ownership but a significant reduction in standard of living.

It’s not just millennials who can’t afford to buy homes. As retired divorcees become Britain’s hottest new demographic trend, they are renting in record numbers. As many as 8% of privately renting tenants are now pensioners.

Name: Silver splitters.
Age: 60 plus.
Appearance: Grey-haired, a little stressed, but free!

Who are these people? They are Britain’s hottest new demographic trend: retired divorcees.

That doesn’t shout trendiness to me. Well, you need to get with the times. According to a study by some 'lettings network” called Countrywide, about 8% of privately renting tenants are now pensioners.
Is that a lot? What proportion of people are over 60? Almost a quarter, according to the 2011 Census.

So I can blame old people for the housing crisis? Not really.