Bankruptcy on the Rise Among Seniors
When you think of bankruptcy, you probably think of it as an issue that affects only young people. After all, older people should be well-off financially. That may be what the majority of people think, but the statistics tell a different story.
In 1991, seniors over the age of 65 made up just 2% of bankruptcy filers in the United States. Fifteen years later, that number has increased sixfold, to 12%. In 2016, 133,000 seniors filed for bankruptcy.
Why is this happening during the later years? What is making it so hard for the elderly to comfortably retire?
There are several factors at play. First, people are living longer. People are not taking into account that they may have to continue working into their 70s and beyond to pay for their retirement. A few decades ago, it was not uncommon for people to retire at around age 55 and have enough money for the rest of their lives. With people now living into their 80s, 90s and beyond, more money is needed to fund their last decades of life.
Compounding this is the fact that while people are living longer, many are living with chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and dementia, which can be costly to maintain. Medical debt is a common reason for bankruptcy among the young and old.
Currently, half of Americans over the age of 75 are in debt. Around 25% of elderly Americans have an annual income of less than $25,000. At this time, the gap between the rich and the poor is at an all-time high. The rich keep getting richer, while the poor only keep getting poorer.
There are many factors contributing to this. Student loan debt is at an all-time high. Health care expenses are outrageous. Retirees do not have the same options for health care and pension packages like they did decades ago. Trade unions are on the decline. Job wages are not keeping up with inflation. Guaranteed income in retirement has become a myth. People are, for the most part, on their own once they stop working. They either need to have a significant savings account or be prepared to continue working until they do.
In the past, a person could work one full-time job and have enough money to support their families. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for people to work multiple jobs, sometimes as many as five or six. However, many elderly find it difficult to get back into the workforce, with age discrimination rampant in many industries. It can be a Catch-22 that leads to financial issues and, eventually, bankruptcy.
Contact a Coral Springs Bankruptcy Attorney
The Golden Years aren’t so golden for many of those in retirement. Many struggle with credit card debt and have trouble paying bills.
A Coral Springs bankruptcy lawyer at the Law Offices of Barry S. Mittelberg, P.A. can help you make sense of your financial situation. We can assist you in finding the right option for you so you can obtain debt relief. Schedule a free consultation by calling our office today at (954) 752-1213.