The older we get, the more important it is that we develop healthy and sound financial practices.
Over 25 million Americans over the age of 60 are economically insecure.
Meaning they live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
This means that millions of seniors are falling deeper into debt.
When they should be enjoying the fruits of their long years of labor.
Credit counseling can help seniors manage their debts by mapping out a plan for financial stability and long-term success.
Why Do Senior Citizens Often Struggle Financially?
Only about 33% of Americans have a 401(k) and nearly half have no retirement account to speak of.
This means a lot of seniors have to rely on Social Security and whatever money they’ve managed to stash away over the years.
Social Security can only cover so much.
And unless you are accustomed to a low standard of living you will need another source of income to supplement your monthly SS checks.
The average Social Security benefit in 2019 is $1,461 a month, or $17,532 a year.
About one-third of senior households finds themselves broke or in debt after meeting essential, monthly expenses, like
- medical bills.
How Can Credit Counseling Benefit the Elderly?
A nonprofit credit counseling agency can help you consolidate your various revenue streams.
Also can help you find new ones to bolster your budget.
To get the most out of your money in retirement you have to learn how to live on a budget.
Budgeting for Seniors:
Here’s a breakdown of the greatest expenditures for seniors over the age of 65, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Housing – 32.4%
- Transportation – 17.1%
- Food – 12.9%
- Healthcare – 12.2%
In 2016, the average debt in homes with a head-of-household above the age of 75 was $32,657.
All that debt stems from unpaid medical bills, mortgages, credit cards and even student loans.
According to the Wall Street Journal, total student loan debt rose 161% for people aged 60 and older from 2010 to 2017.
This is why proper budgeting and repaying debts is an essential practice no matter what stage of life you are in.
Alternatives to Help Seniors Manage Debts:
There are programs out there designed to help lift seniors out of debt.
Other assistance may come in the form of financial, nutritional or employment aid.
It can be hard for seniors to find employment, especially if they are a few years removed from the workforce.
According to a Pew Research Poll, 18.8% of seniors are working full or part-time.
Whether retirement has you restless or you just need the money, certain programs, like the Senior Community Service Employment Program,
They can help you find work by providing you with specialized training and job opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family or friends.
It’s best to acknowledge the severity of the situation early and reach out before things take a turn for the worse.
Thank you to Bents Dulcio from Debt.org for this content.
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