Did You Know?
According to a 2009 study conducted by the AARP, the number of senior citizens, persons aged 65 and older, who filed for bankruptcy rose a staggering 150 percent between 1991 and 2007. Worse yet, a similar study by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project found that among people aged 75 to 84, bankruptcy rates increased by 433 percent. Though neither study cited specific reasons for the drastic increase in bankruptcy filings among the nation's elderly citizens, many believe the rising costs of uninsured medical bills are the chief culprit. That could ring especially true when considering the AARP study also noted that during the same time period, bankruptcy filings among younger Americans had declined. Yet the country's older Americans are widely believed to have amassed large amounts of debt simply to pay for uninsured medical bills, eventually forcing them into bankruptcy. In addition to medical costs, many economists also feel the rising costs of other necessities, such as fuel and food, have proven especially harsh on seniors, a significant percentage of whom are living on fixed incomes, leaving even those who have not filed for bankruptcy teetering on the brink of doing just that.