If you’re struggling with debt as a senior citizen, you may have specific questions or concerns. Financial help for seniors requires unique experience and support, because our income, debt, and expenses change as we get older.
As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve helped hundreds of seniors get out of debt. Here are some of the most common issues that come up, and how we’re able to help:
Bankruptcy and Retirement
Seniors often come to see me after they’ve dipped into their retirement funds. But bankruptcy actually allows you to keep your retirement and pension plans intact. In most cases, the court exempts those savings. Bankruptcy won’t ever touch them.
That means you can usually keep what you’ve saved through:
- Profit-sharing plans
And yet so many people realize this after the fact, when they’ve used up their retirement funds.
Bankruptcy is a hard decision for anyone, but older clients shouldn’t wait to speak with someone. We encourage seniors to come in and see an attorney early, when you first notice you can’t pay the bills. That way you can keep your hard-earned savings intact.
Bankruptcy and Social Security
Like retirement funds, Social Security income is usually exempt from bankruptcy. But if you put the Social Security funds in with your other money (for example, a joint bank account with your spouse), the courts can have a hard time knowing which is which.
To be safe, keep your Social Security funds in a separate account from any other money. But if you haven’t done that, your attorney may still be able to help.
Along with bankruptcy, our firm helps people get Social Security Disability, so we work with the SSA every day. We can answer any questions you may have about how your Social Security payments could be affected by a bankruptcy.
Living on a Retirement Budget with a Bankruptcy
Seniors thinking about bankruptcy sometimes come to me concerned about making ends meet. Perhaps you only have a little money left in your retirement account, and you don’t want to lose it all to your debt.
This just doesn’t pan out in reality. In general I’ve found bankruptcy can help seniors even more than other groups.
For example, retirement usually requires that you live on a budget, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy helps you do exactly that. Chapter 7 bankruptcy can free you up to have the retirement you hoped for, instead of spending your later years in worry and dread. Either way, you get a better shot at the future you’ve always wanted.
Memphis Financial Help for Seniors
If you’re considering bankruptcy, give me a call at 901-327-2100, or contact me online. Our attorneys are happy to help. We’ve worked with hundreds of seniors, and we offer a discount to veterans.
We look forward to helping you get out of debt.