Voices Opinion on the Growing Senior Debt

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Following a June12th MSN News article on debt, personal finance and economic magazine for seniors comments on the rapidly increasing number of American consumers over the age of 65 who are racking up credit card, mortgage, and student loan debt and gives warning of passing along the balance to kids after death.

Debt is such a stressful cross to bear, however people need to know that paying down debt CAN be done if you apply the right attitude, persistence, and plan of action. personal finance and economic magazine today issued its observations about the steadily climbing number of seniors and retirees who are becoming buried by debt and loans. urged readers to tackle their debt by chipping away at it heartily each month, or else many seniors may inadvertently pass the debt on to their children when they pass away themselves.

According to Steve Yoder in an article published on June 12th 2013 for MSN Money, senior citizens are rapidly incurring debt faster than almost any other demographic in the U.S. Yoder reports that a study done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute earlier this year revealed that the households with credit card debt where the head of the household is age 75 or older leapt from 11% in 1998 to 22% in 2010. According to another study done by the University of Michigan Law School in 2011 showed that adults aged 65 and older are in fact the fast growing portion of the U.S. population who are filing for bankruptcy. What’s more is that they carry a whopping 50% more credit card debt than borrowers younger than them. was crushed to hear such devastating numbers, and offered counsel to its readers—seniors, retirees, and soon-to-be-retirees. is quoted as saying, “Debt is such a stressful cross to bear, however people need to know that paying down debt CAN be done if you apply the right attitude, persistence, and plan of action. First things first: stop using your credit card if you can’t afford to pay the balance off each month. It’s as cut and dry as that. Secondly, create and start keeping a monthly budget. This will show you where your money is going each month, and where you can cut costs. For instance, you may have your fixed payments like your car insurance, health insurance, and senior life insurance, as well as perhaps your rent, mortgage, cell phone bill, cable, internet, and other utility costs that don’t vary much from month to month. Then you have your variable costs, which may change each month. These include things like your grocery bill, gas, entertainment costs, and so forth. This is the area where you’ll find you can cut spending, such as your daily latte or shopping at the expensive grocery store. Maybe you swap out your pricey gym membership for a cheaper one, or eliminate HBO. Get creative for ways to save when you review your monthly spending, and put that money towards paying off that pesky debt.”

In the above MSN Money article, Yoder reported that data collected from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from the fourth quarter of 2012 revealed that 2.2 million adults age 60 and above carry student loan debt, and further, the number of 75-year-olds and above with student loan debt has quadrupled since 1989.

Yoder states that many times debt does not die when the borrower does, either. He reports that the IRS can hold the children financially responsible if they received monetary gifts from their indebted parents, and banks can come after them for inheriting a loan for which they co-signed. urged its senior readers to consider their offspring when paying down debt, as well as themselves. is quoted as saying, “It’s bad enough worrying about paying your own debt, but inheriting somebody else’s is just plain lousy. Don’t be the parents whose debt gets passed onto your kids when you pass. Paying it down now will not only give you peace of mind, but the assurance that your kids never have to bear the burden of paying back money that you borrowed. This knowledge alone will I’m sure provide much happiness to you as you live out your debt-free golden years.”

About is an online financial advice column directed at retirees, soon-to-be retirees, and seniors seeking guidance and advice on all things retirement-related. publishes articles on motor homes, travel during retirement, saving and budgeting for retirement, relocating, and different ideas for hobbies to try out when one retires.

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