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Are Americans over 75 running out of money?

Many Americans worked all of their lives to not only stay up on their current bills but also put away savings for retirement. Unfortunately, though, a large number of this population has entered retirement age only to run out of money, or has had to put off retirement because they simply did not have enough saved.

While running out of money can be very stressful and scary at any age, it can be especially so for elderly individuals because they usually don’t have the option to return to work or are dealing with health problems. 

According to the Federal Reserve triennial Survey of Consumer Finances, which came out earlier this month, more Americans may be finding themselves in this situation. The survey indicated that between 2010 and 2013, the median net worth for individuals 75 and older dropped by 16 percent. Additionally, the median income for individuals 75 and older declined 9 percent.

At the same time, the median income for people 35 to 44 increased by 6 percent and the median net worth for this age group increased by 3 percent. The median net income for people for people ages 65 to 74 remained stagnant, while the median net worth for the same age group increased by 5 percent.

Economists have different theories as to why the 75 and older demographic appears to be losing ground financially, but the bottom line is that more elderly Americans could be running into trouble. When this happens, family members may need to step in and help find a solution.

Bankruptcy may be a good solution for elderly Americans who are struggling with debt, but it is a decision that should be weighed carefully with the assistance of an experienced attorney. In our next post, we will look closer at the issue of senior citizens and bankruptcy, discussing when it might make sense.

Source:, “Age 75 and losing ground,” Jennie L. Phipps, Sept. 23, 2014

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