London - Marriage is supposed to be about life-long commitment with someone you love – for richer, for poorer.
But it seems the older generation of women are rather more pragmatic when it comes to getting wed for a second time.
A survey found that almost half of middle-aged women are primarily motivated by the financial advantages of marriage. And the key attraction in such a union was the chance to share their new husband’s pension pot, the poll found.
The importance of hard-headed economics to a decision for a second marriage comes at a time of booming numbers of weddings among older women.
The latest official figures, for 2014, show a record number of 6 638 weddings in England and Wales which involved a bride aged between 55 and 60.
More than 5 000 women who married in their late 50s were divorced, almost 650 were widowed, and fewer than 1 000 were marrying for the first time, according to the Office for National Statistics. Increasing numbers of women are marrying into what would once have been considered old age – numbers of brides over 65 went up by more than half in the five years to 2014.
The survey of 1 000 women aged over 55, carried out by pollsters Opinium for Investec Wealth & Investment, found that 48 percent of divorcees and widows who decided to remarry said money was a key reason.
They thought their financial status would be better as wives than as unmarried cohabitee partners. About 45 percent said that remarriage was important because it conferred an automatic right to share their new husband’s pension, and they would continue to benefit from the pension if the marriage were to break up or if they were to be widowed.
More than a third, 36 percent, cited the guaranteed right to inherit from their husband.