The perfect financial storm has come crashing down on a vulnerable group: Retired seniors.
Privatizing Social Security would have been a boon to this group (not). Massive unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy do not apply to this group either. This is extraordinarily bad news for seniors and for all of us, as we continue to fund some $800 billion in two wars with no end in sight.
Those aged 65 and older represented seven percent of bankruptcy filers in 2007, a mind-boggling jump from 1991. They are the “fastest-growing age demographic,” according to Pottow’s study.
What’s the culprit for so much debt? Credit cards. Two-thirds of Americans who filed for bankruptcy said credit cards were the key reason for their financial problems, according to Pottow’s research. Besides having more credit card debt compared with younger bankruptcy filers, 44.8 percent of those aged 65 and older also had more plastic in their wallets. “They’re using credit cards as a maladaptive coping mechanism,” Pottow says.