Two weeks ago, we posted about the trouble recent graduates in Oregon and elsewhere can find themselves in if they are not careful with their credit cards. Getting into substantial debt when you’re young can mean years of trying to work your way out of it, but what happens if you’re close to retirement and still have thousands in credit card debt?
A recent study showed that baby boomers are saddled with more debt than young Americans. People over 50 who have had credit card debt for at least three months are stuck under an average debt of $8,278, according to a recent survey by Demos. People under 50 had about $2,000 less in debt under the same conditions.
In a tough economy, many older Americans have been laid off from their jobs or had their hours cut dramatically. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that the study found that most of the boomers are using their credit cards to pay for everyday expenses like groceries and prescriptions. Many have saved up in a 401(k), but it costs money to withdraw from an account — and most don’t want to dip into retirement savings, even though some have been forced to.
So what can people in Oregon who are overwhelmed with debt when they should be planning their retirements do? Although some are optimistic that baby boomers will find a way to dig their way out of debt through their own resilience and discipline, it’s important for people to know that they do not have to face debt alone. Filing for bankruptcy is just one way to find debt relief. Not only will it stop creditor harassment, but it will also wipe out much of your debt. For older consumers who are approaching retirement with unmanageable debt, bankruptcy may be something to consider.
Source: Fox Business, “Boomers Face Credit-Card Quandary as Economic Doldrums Bite,” Christ Taylor, Feb. 20, 2013