Thursday, April 22, 2021

55 and Older and In Debt

The New York Times took a look at the amount of debt of those 55 and over, including information since the start of the pandemic.  Rising Debt, Falling Income: How to Dig Out explains

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the share of households headed by someone 55 or older with debt — from credit cards, mortgages, medical bills and student loans — increased to 68.4 percent in 2019, from 53.8 percent in 1992. Bankruptcy rates among older adults are also rising.

The Covid-19 pandemic may be adding to their woes. A survey at the end of 2020 by Clever, an online service that connects home buyers and sellers with real estate agents, found that on average, retirees had doubled their nonmortgage debt in 2020 — to $19,200. .. [B]usiness cutbacks had forced many older adults to retire earlier than planned. Others left work for health reasons or to care for family members ... 

Also driving this rising debt load are soaring medical costs, the steep decline in pensions, growing housing expenses and low interest rates on savings. To make ends meet, many older adults are known to skip meals and to cut pills to stretch prescriptions, according to a survey by the National Council on Aging.

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