Baby boomers in Louisiana and elsewhere may face unique financial challenges as they approach retirement and anticipate lessened incomes. According to Business Insider, an increasing number of Americans aged 65 or older are filing for bankruptcy protection. The number of boomer bankruptcies has increased by nearly 300%, and many seniors are reportedly retiring with more debt than any other generation.
Because wages generally do not increase at the same rate as the rise in the cost of living, it is not uncommon for credit card bills, mortgages and healthcare costs to become crippling finances for individuals in all age demographics. For baby boomers, however, years of growing credit card balances and health care bills may add significant weight to the debt load.
Student loans also burden baby boomers
Another factor affecting baby boomers’ finances is their struggle to pay back student loans. Whether the loans are debts taken for themselves, their adult children or for grandchildren, boomers appear to be struggling to meet these obligations. As also reported by Business Insider, student loans are a contributing factor for more than 30% of individuals filing bankruptcy. Discharging educational debts, however, may not always be possible. As noted on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, discharging student loans requires proof that paying the debt back would cause undue financial hardship.
Retirees may need to make significant budget adjustments
Many baby boomers find themselves replacing a full-time career with a fixed income from Social Security, a pension or other retirement plan, and budgets may need significant alterations. Juggling long-term debts within a fixed budget could require careful thought and planning. Gaining control over the most burdensome debts can help struggling boomers meet the needs of later-life financial situations. In some circumstances, filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection may be a practical option to help make it through the retirement years.