As Florida bankruptcy attorneys, we here at Kingcade Garcia McMaken have noticed that more and more of our clients fall into the senior citizen category. Unfortunately, as reported by the New York Times, this new "gray bankruptcy" trend continues to increase. Whereas seniors such as you accounted for only 2.1 percent of 1991 bankruptcies, you account for 12.2 percent of today's bankruptcies.
Many of today's economic factors have combined to make overwhelming debt a huge problem for seniors, such as the following:
- Your Social Security benefits waits have lengthened.
- Your medical costs have skyrocketed.
- Your Medicare coverage gaps have burgeoned.
- Your debt amounts have dramatically increased.
- Your savings have dramatically decreased.
Decline in savings
Back in the day, seniors like you who had worked and saved all their lives could count on a nice nest egg at retirement. Such is no longer the case. Nowadays, families headed by a senior have a median savings of only $60,000. Worse yet, families in the bottom 25 percent of senior-headed families have savings of less than $3,000.
Catastrophic health costs
If you are like most seniors, the main reason why you have so little savings is that your health care costs have skyrocketed in recent years, with prescription drug costs showing a catastrophic increase. Statistics show that if Social Security is your only source of income, you can expect to pay around 41 percent of it on health care costs. This puts many seniors in the untenable position of having to choose between medicine and groceries.
If your debts have gotten so overwhelming that you fear bankruptcy is the only way out, do not feel guilty or that you have somehow failed as a responsible adult. You have not. The sad truth is that bankruptcy represents one of the few remaining national safety net options available.
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