According to an article in the Herald Tribune, the number of senior citizen bankruptcies is on the rise due to uninsured medical costs and rising debts amongst seniors.The article said:
Bankruptcies are increasing faster among Americans 55 and over than in any other age group, according to a recent study. And people 65 and over accounted for nearly 5 percent of bankruptcy filings in 2002 — nearly double the 2.5 percent figure from 1994, the report published in the May issue of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal found.
American seniors are facing rising costs for everything including health insurance and many of their children are now facing job losses, foreclosures and bankruptcy. Many of the senior citizens are using their limited income to help their children and even their grandchildren and when the income is not enough, they take out equity loans on their homes, and credit cards which can drive them into foreclosure and eventually bankruptcy. But the financial trouble seldom stop there because of course as we age life sends us curve balls and many seniors eventually face health issues that can send them into so much medical debt that they have no chance of climbing out without the help of bankruptcy.
The article highlights the medical expense issue:
“If you have older Americans who are spending much of their money and savings for health care and general cost of living, they’re not able to pass on that wealth to subsequent generations,” said Deborah Thorne, an Ohio University professor who co-wrote a major 2001 study on aging and bankruptcy and is working on another.
It looks like the financial crisis facing our senior citizens are likely to face the next generation; but it doesn’t have to. Senior citizens can protect much of their assets using bankruptcy and still be able to pass on their wealth to their children and grandchildren. If you’re a senior citizen facing financial difficulties, speak with a bankruptcy attorney today to find out how you can protect your assets.