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Bankruptcy has increased among the elderly

As one of the largest generations in American history ages, new trends among older adults spring up. People are living longer and hence they have new problems that did not face previous generations.

Bankruptcy, for instance, is no longer a tool for younger adults. A lot of older adults between the ages of 65 and 74 and even older file for bankruptcy every year, explains U.S. News.

The bankruptcy trend among older adults

In 1991, the rate of bankruptcy was 200% less than it is now among older adults. This accounts for adults between the ages of 65 and 75. One in seven of all bankruptcy filers are over the age of 65. This is nearly five times as much as it was just three decades ago.

The mean age for filers also increased. In 2007, the mean age for bankruptcy was 44.4 years old. Now, it is 48.5 years. This is a significant difference in only a few years. Of all bankruptcy filings, older adults make up about 12 percent of all filings.

Factors behind increased bankruptcy rates

Older Americans cite financial struggles as the reason behind filing for bankruptcy. While the struggles tend to differ from person to person, you can find some patterns among older filers. Financial struggles may include job loss, income decline or a lack of retirement income. AARP claims that more retirees have debt than ever before.

Older adults also tend to face health problems on a more regular basis than their younger counterparts. Over half of all older Americans who filed bankruptcy cite medical bills as the catalyst for bankruptcy. Then, four out cited medical reasons for missed work.

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