Loading Please wait, logging in.
Join ALFA Member Login RSS Feed
Tagline Image
Bookmark and Share  

Seniors Hit Hard by the Great Recession

A new report examining the debt of older Americans reveals that seniors aged 75 and older have incurred a substantial increase in debt between the years of 2007 and 2010.

The report, compiled by researchers from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), shows an increase both the number of older seniors with debt, and the total amount of debt they have accumulated.

The percentage of seniors aged 75 and older who had debt grew from 31.2 percent in 2007, the year the US began to fall into recession, to 38.5 percent in 2010. The average amount of debt also more than doubled, from $13,665 in 2007 to $27,409 in 2010.

Though debt loads were far greater for people between the ages 65 to 74, the percentage holding debt held steady at about 65 percent. Americans aged 65 to 74 actually saw a decrease in total debt, with average debt falling from $72,922 in 2007 to $70,875 in 2010.

EBRI’s senior research associate Craig Copeland believes the likely cause of debt in older seniors is medical expenses. Although most older Americans are covered by Medicare, Copeland noted that many are still responsible for co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses, such as expensive medications that are not fully covered. And since most Americans age 75 and older are living on fixed retirement income, they have little choice but to take on debt to pay for a large, unexpected expense.

Another culprit is housing debt. The number of families with heads age 75 or older who owed housing debt increased from 10 percent in 1992 to 24 percent in 2010.  However, the report also shows the percentages of families with housing debt increased significantly across all age groups, pointing to an alarming trend for those approaching retirement age.

Copeland concluded that “the debt results are troubling as far as future retirement preparedness is concerned, in that the data indicate that American families approaching retirement or newly retired are more likely to have debt—and higher levels of debt—than past generations.”

Read the articles: Not-So-Golden Years: Over 75, Burdened By Debt, Housing Key Driver of Spiking Debt Among Older Households, or view the full report: Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992–2010.



Suggested Articles:

7/21/2015
Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Memory Care Best Practices and Research, Memory Care Education, Reports
Errors on memory and thinking tests could signal Alzheimer’s disease up to 18 years before diagnosis, according to a new study from Rush University re...
7/15/2015
Consumer Intelligence, Facts and Figures, Financing Senior Living – Consumer Education, Reports
Most Americans age 40 and older do not feel prepared for planning or financing long-term care for themselves or a loved one, according to a new poll f...
7/7/2015
Consumer Intelligence, Facts and Figures, Reports
Homeownership is in decline, according to a new report examining the state of the nation’s housing. The rate of homeownership was just 64.5 percent la...
6/30/2015
Disabilities, Facts and Figures, Health and Wellness, Reports
The new report “Status of Women in the States” takes a look at older women across the country and by state including demographics, opportunities, heal...
6/10/2015
Business Planning, Career Resources, CEO, cheatsheet, Facts and Figures, Growth Strategies, Human Resources, Job Seekers, Professional Development, Recruiters, Reports, Staffing & Performance
There is a great demand for workers to provide long-term care to older adults in the United States between now and 2030, according to new reports, and...
02/27/2013


Additional Resources