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Bankruptcy filing rates increasing among elderly Americans

Florida has long been known as the state retirees flock to in their latter years. With lower taxes and plenty of sunshine, it is an ideal haven for people as they enjoy their retirement. Even so, not everyone plans well enough for retirement. And, even when they do, unexpected catastrophe can spell trouble for even the best retirement plans.

According to the National Public Radio, a study found that Americans 65 years and older were facing high levels of bankruptcy. In fact, the number of elderly Americans filing for bankruptcy is now three times as high as it was back in 1991. The main reasons for bankruptcy are medical expenses and reduced incomes. Many of these people lost money in the 2008 economic crash and others may have outlived their retirement plans.

CNBC notes that for many Americans, the solution to their financial woes is bankruptcy and elderly people are not the only ones affected. For the fiscal year of 2018, financial experts predict that 733,000 individuals and businesses may have filed for bankruptcy. While, this is below the peak of 2010, it is nonetheless above the lower figures reported for 2017.

For younger generations, while student loan debt often makes the news, credit card debt is also a big problem. The average household owes $16,883 in credit card debt and 43% of Americans carry a credit card balance for two or more years. This adds up to roughly $1,292 in credit card interest per household each year.

With high debt like this, it is no wonder that so many people struggle to plan for retirement. Because of this, many people are now turning to bankruptcy to wipe out their debt and begin anew. While this is helpful at all ages, it may now become an especially important option for the elderly who have such a limited time and few opportunities to recover.

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