Bankruptcy Booming Among Older Americans


Lawrence Sedita, 74Roger Kisby/The New York Times

For a rapidly growing share of older Americans, traditional ideas about life in retirement are being upended by a dismal reality: bankruptcy.

The signs of potential trouble — vanishing pensions, soaring medical expenses, inadequate savings — have been building for years. Now, new research sheds light on the scope of the problem: The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991, the study found, and the same group accounts for a far greater share of all filers.

Driving the surge, the study suggests, is a three-decade shift of financial risk from government and employers to individuals, who are bearing an ever-greater responsibility for their own financial well-being as the social safety net shrinks.

The transfer has come in the form of, among other things, longer waits for full Social Security benefits, the replacement of employer-provided pensions with 401(k) savings plans and more out-of-pocket spending on health care. Declining incomes, whether in retirement or leading up to it, compound the challenge.

But, hey, if you’re a Trumplican, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. You have no shortage of folks to hate, to blame, and your own political party that keeps the rich afloat and you at the ready to help – them – out.

One thought on “Bankruptcy Booming Among Older Americans

  1. Geezer says:

    More evidence of our nation being turned into something cruel and monstrous by the promulgation of a variant of Social Darwinism in which only people who work are seen as having any social value and no one, least of all those who profit from the labor of others (‘makers’), has any obligation to support the ‘useless mouths’ (IE: ‘takers’) who don’t or can’t.

    “Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live.” Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins) “Ben-Hur” (1959) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPr_GBMu4O4

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