BANKRUPT: America's Seniors Poleaxed By Healthcare Costs

A combination of recession, medical problems, and a history of living paycheck-to-paycheck has led to increasing numbers of seniors declaring bankruptcy.

AP: While the bankruptcy filing rate for those under 55 has fallen, it has soared for older Americans, according to a new analysis from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, which examined a sampling of noncommercial bankruptcies filed between 1991 and 2007.

The older the age group, the worse it got — people 65 and up became more than twice as likely to file during that period, and the filing rate for those 75 and older more than quadrupled.

“Older Americans are hit by a one-two punch of jobs and medical problems and the two are often intertwined,” said Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard Law School professor who was one of the authors of the study. “They discover that they must work to keep some form of economic balance and when they can’t, they’re lost…”

…The filing rate per thousand people ages 55-64 was up 40 per cent; among 65- to 74-year-olds it increased 125 per cent; and among the 75-to-84-year-old set, it was up 433 per cent.

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