Elderly Driven to Bankruptcy by High Healthcare Costs


A study by the University of Michigan Law School by bankruptcy expert, Professor John Pottow shows that many elderly people have been filing for bankruptcy. For example, from 1991 to 2007 the percentage of those between age 65 and 74 who filed for bankruptcy rose by 178%. And since these figures are pre-recession, it is safe to assume that the figures after 2008 would be higher.

Healthcare expense is one of the primary expenditures for the elderly. And since the cost of healthcare has dramatically increased (even higher than the rate of inflation), it can empty the retirement savings of the elderly pretty quickly. A study by Fidelity Investments shows that the healthcare costs for retirees this year are up by 4.2% compared to last year. This represents a significant 56% jump since 2002. At the same time, inflation only rose by 1.1% this year. Fidelity also found that the elderly spend an average of $535 per month on healthcare, an amount exceeded only by the cost of food.

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