Top Financial Challenges for Seniors

According to a recent report published by CNNMoney, a record number of retirees, who are close to retirement, have lost a substantial amount of their retirement and savings. A variety of factors have contributing to the decline of their net worth including the housing crisis, devalued investments and the recession.

According to a report by the AARP Public Policy Institute (which polled more than 5,000 Americans, age 50 and over), a staggering 1 in 4 Americans who are 50 years old or older have very little money left in their savings accounts, with the majority having exhausted it during the recession. Savings accounts may be replenished, but what is even more troubling is that an estimated 67% of seniors have also dipped into their retirement portfolios within the last 3 years to pay their bills. The report also concludes an estimated 53% of seniors do not believe they will be able to retire and maintain their current standard of living.

What caused this dramatic loss of retirement savings? Was it the economy, devalued homes or job loss? More than 80% said it was all three. One-third mentioned their home had lost a significant amount of its value, and one-quarter claimed a job loss had impacted their retirement.

John Rother, AARP’s executive vice president for policy, strategy and international affairs, confirms, “Many older Americans have been buffeted by skyrocketing health care costs, dwindling home values, shrinking pension and investment portfolios and employment struggles.”

So how have seniors made ends meet? It is estimated that up to 12% were forced to drop their health insurance, while 50% failed to seek necessary medical care, dental care or take their prescribed medications.

Seniors are also delaying retirement or working part-time. An estimated 13% were forced out of retirement and are now seeking new employment. According to Rother, “Older Americans have good reason to be worried about the future because they have less time than others to recover from the impact of the last three years. When older Americans are borrowing against their future or betting against their health, serious challenges lie ahead.”

Recent reports also indicate that more seniors have resorted to second mortgages to pay for their long-term care or health care expenses. Bankruptcy filings have also risen approximately 12% in the last 14 years for seniors, who now account for approximately 22% of all bankruptcies.

Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

If you are a senior and you are faced with high credit card debt payments, a job loss, a medical crisis or severe economic crisis, the news in this blog is not surprising. Your savings or retirement account balances may have been depleted months ago.

No one wants to file for bankruptcy. It is a serious financial decision which should not be made without serious financial consideration, but if you have evaluated all of your other financial options and feel like filing bankruptcy is right for you, contact us by completing the FREE evaluation form. We will help you find a bankruptcy attorney in your area who can answer your bankruptcy questions.

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Beth L. is a content writer for Better Bankruptcy. Good content and information is one of many methods we utilize to bring you the answers you need.