Older Americans are currently filing for bankruptcy at astonishing rates. This generation’s need for debt relief can be boiled down to a several contributing factors, including higher retirement and health care costs. However, waiting to file for bankruptcy is usually not a good idea, and for some older Florida residents, the process might not be quite as effective as it is for their younger counterparts.
The Consumer Bankruptcy Project conducted a study that looked at nearly 900 bankruptcy cases and accompanying questionnaires from people between the ages of 19 and 92. The study’s authors determined that the rate of bankruptcy for Americans over the age of 65 has increased as much as 300 percent since 1991. They also noted that this group most often filed for bankruptcy as a means to protect themselves from creditors.
Older individuals might find themselves in need of creditor protection for a number of reasons, but a large factor is believed to be simply the costs of aging. Full Social Security benefits are now paid out later than they were in the past, and fewer companies offer pensions, leaving workers to scramble together savings for 401(k) accounts. Lower incomes and higher out-of-pocket expenses also make the act of living, saving for retirement and handling debt increasingly difficult for this group of people.
Many Florida debtors wait months or even years to file for bankruptcy, even when they are in desperate need of debt relief. Delaying filing can cause deeper financial problems for most people and make it more difficult for some to find secure financial footing for divorce. Ultimately, pursuing bankruptcy in as timely a manner as possible can help individuals secure the best financial outcome possible.