If you are a Tennessee senior facing serious financial difficulties, you are not alone. If you have begun to think about bankruptcy as your only real option, again, you are not alone. In fact, you are part of a new nationwide phenomenon: gray bankruptcy.
The New York Times reports that gray bankruptcy, i.e., bankruptcies filed by people age 65 and older, are on the rise in America. While only 2.1% of 1991 bankruptcies represented your demographic, that number has now risen to 12.2%.
The following five reasons account for the gray bankruptcy phenomenon:
- Increasingly long waits for Social Security benefits
- Out-of-control health care costs
- More gaps in Medicare coverage
- Increasingly large credit card balances
- Increasingly small savings accounts
No one need tell you that your health care costs have skyrocketed in the past few years. If Social Security is your only source of income, you may find yourself spending up to 41% of your Social Security checks on health care. You may even be in the difficult position of choosing whether to purchase groceries or purchase your prescription medications.
If you are like most seniors, you likewise have seen both your savings opportunities and your savings account dwindle over the years. Recent statistics show that the average senior household has a median lifetime savings of only $60,000. This decreases to a mere $3,000 for households in the bottom 25%. Should you encounter a medical emergency, neither amount likely will cover it.
Unfortunately, all this bad news puts you in the position where bankruptcy may indeed be your only viable option. This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.