When your Funds for Retirement are Barely Enough to Cover your Credit Card Debt.
My neighbour is a robust and cheerful 85-year-old man who lives by himself. A good part of the secret to his upbeat attitude he never failed to tell me was that he felt that everything in his life was properly taken care of in terms of funds for retirement set-aside. He had a small inheritance, Social Security, investments and an IRA. What more did he need, he felt. The truth showed up slightly when a couple of months ago, he slipped and broke his ankle. His son had to come in from across the country to try to take care of him. The son discovered that his father had something like seven credit cards. To try to see what sort of fiscal situation his father was in, the son made some phone calls to the credit card companies and found something rather shocking – his father owed approximately $20,000 on all his cards put together.
The son called the father on the carpet and told him he just had to learn to be more responsible. Since the father was not that way inclined, the son called all the banks to have them mail all their bills to him. He was going to take charge. Possibly, it would be an effective idea for every adult child of an aged parent to have a discuss how the finances are managed. Look closely at the sort of problems that the elderly get themselves into, and you will shortly agree that this makes a lot of sense. There are so many studies out there at present to prove that the elderly are using their credit cards for everything – utility bills, gas for the car, daily living expenses, health care. At a few points, there are so many who realize that they’re in over their heads. However, they’re too proud to ask for help. They start instead, to dip into their funds for retirement instead of asking for help. And that begins to disappear soon.
Simply consider the figures – among people over the age of 55, one out of three has more credit card debt than funds for retirement set aside.
About an equal number has as much set aside as their credit card bills total up to. A good enough number of Americans is all set at this point to start their retired life without any job and lots of money owed. No wonder people are seeking jobs after they turn 60 or 70. The average credit card debt for a person over 60 at this point is approximately $10,000. This is a figure that they just can’t handle.
It can happen really quickly and very easily. People start off with what looks like a low credit card debt; when they get maxed out on one card, they just pick up another at the supermarket or somewhere else. There are medical bills, there are grandchildren to buy gifts for; before they know it, they’re in over their heads. For some, credit counseling possibly the answer when they can no more afford to make the minimal payments. For others, bankruptcy perhaps a controlled way to deal with an impossible situation.