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Rising Household Debt A Game-Changer For Seniors

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 5:26 PM
From The FiscalTimes:
More and more Americans are spending their golden years racking up debt—a trend that if left unchecked could derail entitlement reform and alter the traditional pattern of wealth being transferred from older to younger generations.  

For the past several decades, millions of senior citizens have been able to enjoy relatively safe retirements, in part due to a lifetime of savings, private pensions, Social Security, Medicare, and home ownership.

Several recent studies indicate that the degree of safety might be eroding, as personal debt has become a way of life for a growing number of Americans older than 65:

* The Census Bureau reported last week that the median amount of household debt for Americans older than 65 had more than doubled between 2000 and 2011, climbing from $12,702 to roughly $26,000. Seniors experienced the largest percentage increase of any age group. Their individual debt loads are still below the overall median of $70,000, but the more than doubling stands out in an economy recently defined by consumers deleveraging.

* Analysis released in February by the Employee Benefits Research Institute indicates that median credit card debt for seniors older than 75 surged from $838 in 2007 to $1,800 in 2010, while the share of 75-plus households with mortgage debt ballooned from 10 percent in 1992 to roughly 24 percent in 2010.

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pearlbrownpearlbrown1,472 posts since
Nov 2, 2010
Rep Points: 6,396
1. Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 8:15 PM
When you get diddely squat in interest on your savings just run-up your credit cards. When you die, the bankers lose out. Sounds reasonable.
ShorebreakShorebreak2,675 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,527