This is what most of us imagine for our retirement: Chilling on a hammock somewhere, with some money in the bank to help keep us in chardonnay, or lemonade at least.
This is what most of us don’t image for our retirement: Having so much trouble paying bills that we have to file for bankruptcy.
But the sad and scary news is that more and more Boomers are in the nightmare position of struggling to stay financially afloat, just when they hoped to be easing up on the gas pedal and enjoying these “golden” years.
The rate of people age 65 and over filing for bankruptcy has tripled since 1991, according to a new study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. It found that several factors are at work: the challenges of staying employed as one ages; the rising cost of medical care; and the fact that the government and employers are doing less to help support citizens (i.e., pensions fading away) while more and more financial responsibility is placed on the individual.
Often, it takes just a hiccup in one’s finances to start a cascade towards financial insolvency.
Here’s how the study phrased it: “When the costs of aging are off-loaded onto a population that simply does not have access to adequate resources, something has to give, and older Americans turn to what little is left of the social safety net — bankruptcy court.”
Often, it takes just a hiccup in one’s finances to start a cascade towards financial insolvency – say, a major medical bill or a loan to a family member who is in desperate straits. If you find yourself in a position that feels as if it’s spiraling out of control, read up on options at the FTC’s Coping With Debt consumer information page here. It provides important information on ensuring that you align with reputable organizations to help you stabilize the situation.