"The rate of people 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is three times what it was in 1991 …" - Tara Siegel Bernard, The New York Times, August 5, 2018. Here is the article.
In the U.S. version of capitalism, filing for bankruptcy represents the opportunity for a new financial start. Old debts are eliminated. Sure, the credit rating takes a hit. But soon enough, the former debtor could be prospering again.
That is how bankruptcy plays out for the young and middle aged. And that's why bankruptcy lawyers let them know. And, with all the global economic turbulence, the stigma is lifting.
For older people, though, bankruptcy has not been a platform for a financial second or third chance. Instead, it's just one more financial setback. Lawyers are bearing witness to this new kind of client tragedy.
And given reduced opportunities for the aging to get well-paying jobs, the odds are against them ever being able to put together a financial comeback. In addition, unlike youth, they often lack the stamina to work two or three jobs. Meanwhile, if they are fortunate enough to land low-paying work, they are trapped in a downward trajectory.
Bad decision making and bad luck trigger this mess.
The decision might have been to co-sign for the offspring's educational loans or financially help out a relative. They might have not sold the house when the market was strong, now being stuck with a mortgage payment and property taxes they can't afford. Some might have not changed fields when their industry was downsizing and now are unemployable.
The bad luck usually takes the form of a health problem. Their kinds of medical insurance don't cover enough of the bill. Or they lost their health insurance.
A new study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project documents this growing financial distress. Here is that study.
The mission in my coaching those over-50 is to prevent this scenario. And, you bet, it is preventable. Aging demands different kinds of mindsets and behavior than were part of young adulthood.
The biggest piece of that is the ability to land, hold, and move on to better work.
The obstacle to that is the resistance to regard how they earn income as an ever-changing reality. The common mistake is not to move fast enough in exiting a declining field or company and not moving quickly to exploit opportunity.
With rapid response to disruptions in the labor market, not only will bills get paid, it is possible to save and to invest. Without it, bankruptcy is a possibility. There is little margin for error.
Here, free to click open and read, is the bible on how to continue to earn good income Download Outwitting ageism.
Contact Jane Genova firstname.lastname@example.org.