Many Americans are bringing more than just their bucket lists with them into retirement. According to a recent analysis by MagnifyMoney, a growing number of Americans are carrying burdensome debt into their 50s and beyond.
The biennial MRRC study surveys more than 20,000 Americans 50 and older on a range of financial topics. MagnifyMoney found the latest results revealed a number of debt trends that threaten to undermine the retirement goals of many older Americans.
Both the percentage of older Americans carrying debt and the amount of debt they’re carrying are on the rise. As recently as 1998, roughly 37 percent of Americans age 56 to 61 carried debt, with an average debt load of $3,634 in 2012 dollars, according to MRRC research. By comparison, today, 42 percent of Americans that age carry debt and with an average debt load of $17, 623.00.
The trend isn’t explained away by higher mortgage costs, either.
According to MagnifyMoney’s analysis, almost one-third (32 percent) of older Americans carry non-mortgage debt on a month-to-month basis, with an average of $12,490. Of that, $4,786.00, on average, is credit card debt, represents its own significant challenge for Americans as they near retirement.
Some 40 percent of older Americans have at least $5,000 in credit card debt,; 22 percent owe more than $10,000 — an amount exceeding what most of them have in their checking accounts.
When you are caught in the trap of using your paycheck to pay credit card or debt minimum payment and they find yourself using the available credit to buy essentials like food, gas and medicine you start to get on an endless treadmill and accumulate no saving for your retirement. Many American stop contributing to their 401(K) plans and retirement plans so they can have extra money in their pay check and make minimum payments on debts that never seem to go down.
If you are approaching retirement within 15 to 20 years and find yourself on the endless treadmill of paying minimum payments and not saving for your retirement you may want to consider filing bankruptcy. You can get a fresh financial start in life, get you feet on the ground and your head above water. Call us today for a free, confidential, no obligation bankruptcy consultation today.