These days, millions of senior citizens are struggling with credit card debt and other sizable balances that can make their lives more difficult in retirement.
A number of reports have come out in recent months detailing the struggles seniors and Baby Boomers have faced in the last several years when it comes to dealing with outstanding debts, according to a report from McClatchy Newspapers. For instance, the average amount owed by consumers age 55 and up between all their outstanding balances increased to $70,370 in 2007, more than double the amount observed in 1992, according to new data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Further, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently reported that consumers aged 50 and up owed 17 percent of the nation's outstanding credit card debt, the report said. And public policy group Demos recently noted that the average amount owed on credit cards owned by consumers 65 and older rose to $10,235 in 2008, up from $8,138 just three years earlier.
Significant outstanding debts of any kind can be difficult for seniors to bear because they live on fixed incomes, and can create a financial emergency that may necessitate them to seek out debt relief.