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You expect your golden years in Maryland to be a time of relaxing and enjoying life. Debt can crush those expectations, though, and fill every day with stress. At The Law Office of Donald L. Bell, our legal team often helps retirees to gain the freedom that debt has denied them.

According to U.S. News & World Report, you are not alone in suffering from overwhelming debt after turning 65. In fact, millions of older Americans are in the same situation, a fact that two recent studies have proven. Researchers discovered that one out of every seven people who file for bankruptcy are 65 or older. This equates to five times the number of retirement-aged people who filed 25 years ago.

What is behind the trend of gray bankruptcy? The reasons given by survey respondents may sound familiar to you. Almost 70% said their financial struggles were the result of a drop in income due to job loss or retirement income that was insufficient to meet their needs. Over 62% said medical bills they could not pay led them to file. About 40% said their insufficient income was the result of medical issues that caused them to miss work.

Other contributors to seniors’ financial troubles include the shifting eligibility requirements for Social Security, decreased reliability and popularity of pensions and an increased focus on 401(k)s as preferred savings programs.

Although bankruptcy can provide immediate relief, more than 60% of the participants in the studies spent two years or more trying to repay their debts before seeking help. More information about the benefits bankruptcy can provide for retirees is available on our webpage.