“How things have changed,” states the writer of a recent article published by the American Association of Retired Persons (better known by its acronym tag of AARP).
What that writer centrally notes in a media piece that might reasonably have been named “Older Americans — tips for avoiding bankruptcy” is that seniors as a group are currently facing financial challenges — significant challenges — that were simply unknown to that demographic a generation ago.
Consider this statistic, supplied by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonprofit think tank focused on tax issues, health care and other various reform-based topics: Whereas credit card debt among Americans 75 years and older was so low a quarter century ago that it was statistically unmeasurable, average card debt for this group is now more than $4,500.
Moreover, notes the center in a recent report, the number of Americans in retirement — obviously a very high number in Florida — that enter that phase of life with lingering mortgage and other debt is far higher than it was 25 years ago.
Such numbers are certainly cause for concern, both on an individual and larger basis. The reality for a growing number of seniors is that debt obligations persist — sometimes increasing steadily — at a time when income is not often readily incoming to defray them.
The conclusions cited in the report above are similarly echoed in an AARP study conducted last year. That analysis pointed to an uncomfortable financial squeezing on many older middle-class Americans.
Continuing mortgage debt during retirement is an especially prominent concern, with an AARP director noting that it places many older Americans “in a more vulnerable position.”
Source: AARP, “Give today’s retirees a ‘D’ — for debt,” Eileen Ambrose, Jan. 22, 2014