As debt grows among older Americans, so do bankruptcy filings

The share of bankruptcy filers who are older than 65 is the highest it’s ever been.

As the cost of living outpaces incomes, health care costs rise and debt swells, there’s been more than a two-fold increase in the rate of older Americans filing for bankruptcy, according to a new study.

Debt among older Americans is rising fast. In 2016, the average debt in families in which the head of the household is age 75 or older was $36,757. That is up from $30,288 in 2010, according to a recent report by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington.

High balances and calls from collection agencies can leave many older Americans feeling helpless. The average monthly Social Security check is $1,404, and more than 40 percent of single adults receive most of their income from that check.

Older Americans’ debt can threaten this. The number of Social Security recipients 65 and older who had their check reduced because of their student loans increased by more than 500 percent between 2002 and 2015, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The statistics are high, but the situation is far from hopeless.

Mapping your expenses will help you see where, and if, you have room to chip away at your debt, financial experts say. Doing so will also make it more likely that you stick to a budget, and therefore avoid falling deeper into debt. The last thing you want to spend your older years doing is replaying your wrong financial decisions over and over again. Clearly, you’re not alone.

Call Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd. We are dedicated to guiding our clients out of difficult financial situations. Led by Bankruptcy Attorney and Partner Colin Lloyd, our firm’s Bankruptcy Department has helped thousands of clients make a fresh start and get back on their financial feet.

During your complimentary bankruptcy consultation at any of our offices in Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, and Okeechobee, we’ll sit down with you and take the time to discuss the personalized bankruptcy or foreclosure option that best fits your particular scenario.

To set up a FREE Consultation with a Bankruptcy Attorney in Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, or Okeechobee, call us today at 866-460-1990.

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