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The best is yet to be? New partnerships formed by those of retirement age

Date:24 AUG 2017
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John Haskey FAcSS, AKC
Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

The article 'The best is yet to be? New partnerships formed by those of retirement age: demographic trends and self-assessed health, life satisfaction, and social participation, England and Wales' explores the trends in partnership formation for the retired, in view of their growing numerical importance. 

The patterns of marriage and cohabitation either contrast with those for younger ages, or are more pronounced. Trends in marriage and cohabitation are presented by age and marital status, with reference to trends in divorce and remarriage. Both the marriage rate, and the proportion cohabiting, have increased to a greater extent the older the age group, and the retired have formed a growing proportion of all partnership formations. 

Also briefly considered are those who are unpartnered, and those 'Living Apart Together'. Survey results are presented on the retired in England, considering their self-assessed health, loneliness, and activity, as well as their social participation, interests and social integration. A respondent’s feeling of belonging to the area in which they live is related to their feeling of loneliness, and this association is examined by the respondent’s partnership status. Similarly, the respondent’s ‘conditions of life’ is related to their self-assessed general health, again by the respondent’s partnership status. Finally, some of the implications of the trends in partnership formation and increasing life expectancy are explored, both for those involved, and also for social policy and family law.

The full version of this article appears in the September 2017 issue of Family Law

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