Bankruptcy After Retirement
Research suggests that the number of bankruptcy filers who are older than 65 years of age is increasing and possibly higher than it has ever been. Why is this? We already know that the two biggest life-changing events that lead to bankruptcy are unexpected medical expenses and divorce. Unfortunately, these things can still happen after the age of 65. Living on a fixed income after retirement and the addition of more debt can just exacerbate any financial problems that were already there. Not to mention; the debt load carried by older Americans has been increasing. This could be due to a variety of factors; such as debt accumulation prior to retirement, insufficient income to retire, unexpected medical expenses, or other unplanned life events.
What causes people 65+ to file bankruptcy?
- Companies offer fewer benefit plans, and even fewer offer pensions to supplement retirement.
- Many people fail to invest or save enough to carry them through retirement.
- Many retired citizens depend mostly on social security for income.
- Older folks today are carrying higher debts in mortgage, credit cards & unpaid student loans.
- Social Security checks can be garnished for government loans.
- Divorcing after retirement can lead to bankruptcy.
- Unexpected medical ailments are more common as we age; rise in medical bills fueled by the rise in costs for medical services & insurance.
Most Americans are already living paycheck-to-paycheck. After retirement, those who don’t have the ability to increase income could find themselves in a really tough place financially. Those who have recently retired, or folks who have been living on a fixed income for a long time are equally at risk for problems that lead to bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy is viewed as a positive, rather than negative action.
Focus on What you CAN Control
You are retired after all, not dead! There are things that you can do at any point in life to change things, so let’s focus for a moment on what you can control vs what has already been done.
- Knowledge is Power. It’s never too late to make a positive change, no matter what your age. Adjust spending to any rise or fall in your monthly income. Look for ways to cut back or get rid of things which are not necessary. Talk to family. Ask for help from licensed professionals who offer free consultations. Do what you can to budget. Small changes can pay off bills and avoid falling further into debt.
- Debt consolidation. Consolidation can be realistic place to start. You may consider Wisconsin Chapter 128 or Debt Consolidation because it allows for the creation of a court-ordered plan for the repayment of debt. Like bankruptcy, this option can also stop creditor harassment, wage garnishments and other forms of collection activity while negotiating more favorable payback terms with your creditors.
- Bankruptcy for Older Adults. Calls from collection agencies can leave anyone feeling helpless, and may have an even bigger physical impact on older people. The golden years don’t have to be tarnished by unwanted debt and unwanted harassment. All the stress and financial hardships that come with excessive debt may be reduced or eliminated through filing chapter 7 or chapter 13 Thankfully, filing bankruptcy has no age limitations; senior citizens can benefit from bankruptcy protections and benefits.
Consult Licensed Bankruptcy Attorney For Advice
You are not alone in this. Don’t let pride prevent you from gaining the control and resolution that may be found in filing bankruptcy. The last thing you want to do is spend more time worrying and replaying bad financial decisions. Before you sell your home to pay a back mortgage or make a desperate move, consult one of our Debt Advisors licensed bankruptcy attorneys. Ask for a free consultation. In a short conversation you can find out how to stop the collection agencies, what you’re rights are, and what your options may be to regain control over your financial burdens.