Debt is a problem for people of all ages, however, a new research from the University of Michigan Retirement Research Center indicates that debt is a particular problem for baby boomers. The study has been conducted every year since 1990 and looks at the experiences of more than 20,000 Americans over age 50. Magnified Money identified that 33% of Americans over the age of 50 currently carry non-mortgage debt from one month to another.
The average amount of non-mortgage debt was almost $12,500 and approximately $4,800 in credit card debt. Any type of high interest debt can make it problematic for an older American to have a quality lifestyle in retirement. This is particularly true if they are exposed to any costs associated with long term care.
The rising costs of health care needs as people age is extremely important to consider, particularly for a couple that may have counted on the joint retirement to fund their retirement needs. Their assets can become quickly decimated by the health care costs linked to just one long term care event, such as the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a broken hip.
These issues can jeopardize the retirement of the other spouse as well and require careful and complex planning. If you are concerned about how to protect what you’ve accumulated over the course of your life, estate planning is a must. Consulting with an experienced lawyer sooner rather than later is strongly recommended if you have estate planning questions.