Many Alabama residents, and fellow men and women around the country, have been torn on what to think about those in debt. Some might argue that those who decide to submerge themselves deeply in credit card debt by purchasing items they do not need and cannot afford deserve the financial hardships that come with. In the United States, many loudly preach the notion of financial responsibility and controlling one's own destiny.
Still, it might not be so easy for one particular demographic that has become shrouded in debt as of late. In 2011, individuals who are 55 years old or older, according to the AARP, filed 25.3 percent of all personal bankruptcies. That number was up from 21.8 percent in 2006. The numbers are a clear indicator that the elderly population is becoming more and more susceptible to money problems. In 2011 alone, more than 350,000 seniors declared bankruptcy.
An Employee Benefits Research Institute analysis that examined stats from the government stated that between 1992 and 2007, the number of men and women over the age of 55 that were in debt rose from 53.8 percent to 63 percent. The average amount owed by this demographic rang in at a jaw-dropping $70,370. The numbers from the National Bureau of Economic Research also showed that 46.1 percent of individuals die with less than $10,000 in assets to their name.
A study conducted by a law professor indicated that credit card debt was a culprit in this trend. In his study, two-thirds of seniors said that credit card debt, and the fees and interest that come with, were factors holding them down in a sinkhole of debt.
This wouldn't be a huge problem if those individuals were in their 20s or 30s. At that age, they have plenty of earning potential and many years of potential employment in front of them.
Time is running out for seniors faced with insurmountable debt. In many cases, bankruptcy may be the only hope of ever having a blank financial slate once again.
Source: IndexCreditCards.com, "Shocking Rise In Problem Credit Card Debt Among Seniors," Dec. 12, 2012