Remarriage In Later Life
Given increasingly longer life expectancies, late-life (over age sixty) remarriage and cohabitation are on the rise. This phenomenon has major implications for eldercare of aging parents and step-parents, and for inheritance of assets passed down to children and stepchildren. Preliminary research shows that adult children feel more obligated to help parents than to help stepparents, especially stepmothers, unless the relationship with the step-parent is strong. Apparently, this phenomenon is reciprocal—remarried parents have been found to provide less support to adult children, in general, than parents who remain in first marriages. Further, elderly parents tend to favor biological kin over any other relationships in their wills. Although much needs to be learned about late-life remarriage, research has shown tentatively that late-life remarrieds have higher marital satisfaction than mid-life remarrieds; apparently this is due to very high marital satisfaction among late-life remarried men.