Whenever I meet a hard-working person struggling with debt late in life, I think, as a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, this is not how it’s supposed to be. No one who’s worked his entire life should find himself retired and burdened by the cost of health care, medicine, food, and other expenses — forced to use credit just to make ends meet. But sadly, it’s a story that’s becoming all too common.
Skyrocketing medical costs, vanishing pensions, declining income, and a shrinking safety net have all led us to where we are now: a time when seniors are fending for themselves, with few if any financial resources to rely on.
If you or someone you know is considering bankruptcy after retirement, I want you to know you’re not alone. The safety net for older Americans has been shrinking for the past couple decades, with the financial burden of health care costs and risks associated with aging shoved onto individuals from employers.
A recently released study found that older Americans are filing bankruptcy in record numbers, and their representation among the overall number of bankruptcy filers is higher than ever. According to the study, the rate of Americans age 65 and older who’ve filed for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991. 12.2% of filers are now 65 and older, a 2.1% increase from 1991.
With a shrinking safety net and overall living expenses continuing to rise, any unexpected life event can leave a big financial impact. I have seen clients who have lost a spouse unexpectedly or helped raise grandchildren. Suddenly they are unable to make ends meet, no matter how hard they try. Even if they pay the minimum amount each month, they’ll still be in debt until their early 90s — something no one should have to face. Many are too afraid to explore the relief bankruptcy can offer; sadly, they don’t realize it’s one of few viable options they have.
I have been a Memphis bankruptcy attorney for more than 30 years, and I know that bankruptcy is not an easy decision to make. I know that for many men and women who have worked hard to support themselves throughout their entire lives, filing for bankruptcy often feels like failing. But it is quite the opposite. It is one of few ways to stop the aggressive letters and calls from creditors during what should be the most relaxing and peaceful years of a rewarding life.
Getting Help in Hard Times: Talk to a Memphis Bankruptcy Attorney
If you have questions or want to know more about filing for bankruptcy, I’m happy to help. We are known for our compassion — and results — and we’re here for you. Call 901-327-2100 or contact us here to start the conversation with a Memphis bankruptcy attorney.