More Seniors are Carrying More Debt

Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: July 24, 2014 publishes personal finance studies on the latest trends in the subprime marketplace. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

According to a new report from the National Center for Policy Analysis, Americans aged 65 and older are carrying far more debt than they were just a few decades ago.

Research shows the number of seniors aged 65 to 74 with a mortgage or home equity loan has jumped from 21 percent in 1989 to 37 percent in 2010.

For seniors over the age of 75, the amount has increased from 6 percent to 21 percent in the same period.

In addition, the portion of seniors’ overall expenses going toward mortgage payments and home equity debt payments has risen from 2.7 percent to 4.3 percent in just the past two decades.

“The number of seniors with a mortgage

loan jumped from 21 percent to 37 percent.”

Today’s seniors are also spending more of their money on discretionary purchases and accumulating more credit card debt.

For those aged 65 to 74, the average credit card balance was $6,000 in 2010 compared to just $2,100 in 1989.

For those over 75, few even had debt in 1989, while the average is now $4,600 for this group.

The list of reasons for this dramatic increase is long and could include things such as rising health care costs, the recent economic downturn and even changing tax laws.

Whatever the reason, the trend is toward more debt and more spending by the rapidly aging boomer population.

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