Unfortunate Life in Their 60s: Seniors in a Debt Trap
The time leading up to senior years are supposed to be spent planning your retirement. Armed with a pool of money from savings, you should finally be able to live the rest of your life relaxing and enjoying the fruits of several years of hard work. However, a lot of people are not able to enjoy these golden years because of one sad reality: debt.
According to a survey conducted by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 4 out of 10 retirees have made paying their debt a priority. About 29% are struggling with credit card debt, 17% are paying a mortgage, and 11% are paying for medical expenses and student loans.
Student loans are an unexpected but very real factor for debt among seniors. The Federal State records $260 billion debt in student loans for Americans over the age of 50 as of 2018. This is likely to be caused by people in their younger years taking out huge student loans, expecting to pay it back after securing a job. However, they were not able to earn enough to pay off the loan, during which time the loan must have grown significantly.
Medical expenses are also one of the great financial challenges that retirees face. This is something that people reaching retirement age encounter a lot considering their deteriorating health condition. Several health concerns or even injuries might arise, and not enough income is coming in due to not being fit to work. Not to mention the limited time left to work to earn money to pay off the loans later on. Even with insurances in place, seniors are still expected to face a sizable bill.
There are several ways to address this problem. One is to work longer, which is very unfortunate but inevitable for a lot of people. The other thing is to be open about your financial issues especially to your life partner. This might be easier said than done, but the longer the secret is kept, the deeper trouble you are in, the harder it will be to fix when it all comes pouring out because one way or the other it will. As this involves both of you, and your future together, better come clean about it and face it together.
Your dreams of beaches and sunshine will be easier to achieve by making wise decisions early on in your life. Learning to have better judgment when it comes to finances at an earlier age is definitely better, rather than regretting it later when not much can be done anymore. Make sure that before you go chasing that sunset, you already have left the ominous clouds behind you.
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