As you read this, are you laying in bed with your unmarried partner? If you are, you’re part of a growing group of baby boomers. And if you’re reading it with your married partner, that too is more common today than when our parents were raising us.
According to a US Census survey called A Gray Revolution in Living Arrangement, older adults have experienced the biggest gains in living with a spouse, married or unmarried. Why? Older women’s husbands are living longer. Yep, men, on average, are living 10 years longer than they did 50 years ago, thus explaining why us boomers are the only age group to see a rise in living with a partner.
Not surprisingly, male respondents living with a partner is much more common among older men because older women are more likely to be widowed.
75 per cent of older men live with a spouse, but only 50 per cent of women 65 and older, and 1/3 of women 75 and older can say the same. And once widowed, older women are also more likely to remain unmarried.
We’re becoming more independent too – 50 years ago, we would be more likely to be in the care of a relative if we were 65 or older, but now we are gaining more independence as we age, leading to a much better quality of life. Living alone has now replaced living with other relatives as the most common arrangement for women 75 and older; today almost half of these women live alone.
A big rise in numbers has been contributed to a growing trend of seniors cohabiting with a romantic de facto partner. In fact, the amount of unmarried partners has increased four times that of 1967’s numbers, though with that said, baby boomers are more likely than prior generations to be never married or divorced as they enter older adulthood.
Tell us, what is your living arrangement? Do you have a partner, and are you married or unmarried?