Florida has seen bankruptcy filings increase for older Floridians in recent years. A bankruptcy filing is the term used when an individual or company cannot repay their debts and asks a Court for relief. A Bankruptcy Petition filed with the Court begins the bankruptcy filing. Older Floridians refer to individuals who are 65 or older and primarily live in Florida.
Bankruptcy filings for older Floridians have tripled over the last 25 years. This is a trend seen across the entire U.S. In 1991, only 1.2 out of every 1,000 Americans between ages 65 and 74 filed bankruptcy. By 2016, that increased to 3.6 out of every 1,000 Americans. Interestingly, while bankruptcy filings have increased for older Americans, bankruptcy filings have decreased among young Americans.
Bankruptcy Filings increase for Older Floridians for multiple reasons.
- Increased healthcare costs: Healthcare costs have increased dramatically in recent decades. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age with higher health risks due to obesity, diabetes, and an overall lower rate of good health. All of which is leading to unexpected and higher healthcare costs.
- Reduced income: The average income of older Americans filing bankruptcy is only $17,390.
- Delayed eligibility age for full social security: To receive 100% full social security in 2018, you must be 66 years and 4 months of age. You can begin to receive partial social security at age 62.
- Vanishing pensions/retirement savings: Baby boomers have only put away roughly 5% of their income for retirement. Only 54% of baby boomers have any retirement savings at all. There is not enough money saved to last throughout retirement or much room for unexpected expenses that may arise.
- Too much debt: Older Americans have spent money and incurred debt to help their elderly parents and their children. Baby boomers increasingly need to care for their parents, which is an enormous burden. Parents are cosigning for their children’s student loans due to the high cost of college tuition. Overall, Americans are entering retirement age with higher debt.
- Waiting too long: By the time older Americans decide to file bankruptcy, it is often too late. Their wealth is already gone, and there is not enough time to regain their footing. Many Americans wait too long to file bankruptcy due to bankruptcy’s negative connotation. Instead, bankruptcy should be looked at from a business perspective; removing emotion and focusing on making the best decision for you and your family.
When your debt is more than you can handle, it is important to take immediate action. Taking action sooner will give you more time to rebuild your savings and credit so you can fully recover. Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC today for a free initial bankruptcy consultation. A Jacksonville Bankruptcy Lawyer can help you decide if filing bankruptcy is best for your future.