Senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic asking for charitable food handouts, according to an article in The Republic. For 5 million older adults, nutritional meals are either inaccessible or unaffordable.
“It comes as a surprise to most people that seniors are going hungry,” said Dr. James Ziliak, director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research. “People think we conquered hunger with the War on Poverty back in the 1960s.”
When you look at the retirement savings of the Baby Boomers (or lack thereof), it becomes clear that growing numbers of senior citizens are having trouble making ends meet. According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, the average household has just $148,000 saved for retirement. Or about three years of modest living expenses.
Louisville bankruptcy attorneys continue to see those in retirement struggle with credit card debt, bad real estate debt and medical bills. Once living on a fixed income, they often have nowhere to hide and nowhere to turn when hit with unexpected expenses.
Tragically, too many turn to more credit card debt, reverse mortgages or outright scams.
In many cases, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Kentucky can free retirees from the confines of insurmountable debt. With this type of filing, most debts are forgiven. Retirement accounts are protected and filers can often keep their home and vehicle if they choose to do so.
Most retirees have worked hard all their life. They’ve raised families. And now it’s their time. We are committed to helping seniors find the best solutions to their financial situations. Whether it’s dealing with foreclosure or the high cost of medical care. We believe no one deserves to live out their Golden Years under the threat of collection agencies and the stress that comes with unmanageable debt.
Because of these financial strains, the number of bankruptcy filings involving those over the age of 65 has doubled in the last 20 years, according to the National Consumer Bankruptcy Project.
Often, the highest barrier for older residents is the negative stigma they associate with bankruptcy. But the truth of the matter is that bankruptcy is one of the strongest consumer protection laws on the books. As living expenses continue to grow, too many seniors are left getting by on the same fixed income year after year. Banks and Wall Street have been taken care of — it’s our senior citizens who are left to struggle.
As a result, AARP now estimates the percentage of older Americans dealing with food insecurity has climbed from 4.7 percent in 2006 to more than 10 percent in 2008.
Only about 4 percent of the U.S. population was over the age of 65 in 1900. Today, about 12 percent of the population — or 35 million adults — are senior citizens. As Baby Boomers begin to retire over the next decade, that number will grow to 17 percent by 2020.
This is the generation that always did for everyone else. Who kept themselves to themselves. And who kept problems close to the vest. But if financial problems are ruining your retirement, we encourage you to seek professional advice.
If you need to speak to a Kentucky bankruptcy attorney or Louisville foreclosure defense firm, contact the Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center at 866-270-4495 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.