More than ever, older Americans are increasingly filing for bankruptcy. The days of a secure pension and a well-funded retirement are in the past as people over the age of 65 now make up a large majority of bankruptcy filers in the United States.
Even if you are not yet at retirement age, it is important for you to consider how your current debt load may affect your financial future. Getting your finances under control now can help you avoid bankruptcy in the future. And if you are in retirement and finding it impossible to cope with the expenses you face, bankruptcy just might be an option that can give you financial relief.
Older Americans filing for bankruptcy
A study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project showed that three times more people age 65 and over are filing for bankruptcy nowadays as compared to people that age in 1991. The study's authors cited a consistently shrinking social safety net for Americans in recent years. Older Americans are having trouble paying for health care and do not have sufficient income to manage their expenses. Individuals are shouldering more of the financial burden nowadays than ever before, and elderly Americans are acutely feeling this effect.
Positive aspects of bankruptcy
Although many people view a bankruptcy filing as a negative event that will have serious consequences on an individual's financial future, this is not necessarily the case. For many people, filing for bankruptcy allows them to take control of their out-of-control situation and begin the first steps toward a more stable and healthier financial situation. Some people fear the costs of bankruptcy are out of their reach, but there are ways to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy that require a low down payment.
You should not have to live out your golden years filled with anxiety and stress about day-to-day financial matters. If you are facing overwhelming debt and you do not know how to get a handle on your finances, explore your options. Avoiding the problem may only make it worse.