Debt Relief for Seniors: A Health Consideration
Unfortunately, we’ve been receiving more and more calls from people recently inquiring about debt relief for seniors, as more and more people over the age of 65 head into retirement saddled with debt. With an ever-increasing elderly population and more Canadians than ever carrying huge debt loads, debt relief for seniors facing retirement is a growing concern.
The Financial Post recently reported that in the last year, the number of Canadians over 65 with debt rose by 4.3 percent, whereas almost every other age group experienced a decrease. Why are seniors racking up so much debt? Even with many home equity lines of credit in the 3% range, it’s easy for seniors to borrow for real estate, renos, or to help their kids, but quickly get in over their heads.
Seniors now account for 8% of bankruptcies, up from 6% five years ago. The fastest growing risk group among all age groups filing for bankruptcy continues to be seniors. They carry an enormous amount of debt, built up over a lifetime. On average, they owe more than $64,000 in credit card and other debt.
When seniors carry debt into retirement, they run the risk of not being able to meet payments because generally their income has dropped. This makes it hard to repay existing debt. Seniors then borrow more money to cover their mortgage or credit card bills, eating up a much larger chunk of their fixed, lower income.
The stress of carrying debt is hard on anyone, but is especially so for seniors who may be more vulnerable to mental and physical health issues. For example, depression is one of the more common consequences of stress among seniors, which can lead to loss of interest in eating.
Stress can also cause damage to brain cells, and in seniors that can lead to permanent cognitive issues such as memory loss. Not only does stress affect mental health, it can also affect a senior’s physical health too. When we’re stressed, our immune systems are weakened, and in seniors this could mean critical complications, such as catching pnemonia.
With consumer debt levels rising in Canada, more seniors find themselves facing retirement with high levels of credit card debt, lines of credit, and bank loans. These are serious financial problems that could lead to health issues just as they’re getting ready to enjoy retirement.
It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you are looking at mounting debt, you need a plan to deal with the situation so you can avoid the impacts of being stressed about your finances.
If you or an elderly person you know is struggling with debt, find a financial consulting company who specializes in advising on debt relief for seniors so that they can help you enjoy retirement stress free.
At DebtCare, we can help. Get in touch today by calling 1 (888) 890-0888.