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What Are the Most Common Causes of Elderly Debt?

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Debt is an unfortunate reality for many adults, and seniors who live on fixed incomes are at a higher risk of going into debt than younger adults. The Palm Beach 24-hour care professionals at Home Care Assistance discuss a few of the most common reasons seniors accumulate debt and offer some tips on how to help your aging loved one stay debt-free.

Medical Expenses

Regardless of the type of health insurance they have, seniors are often forced to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses due to unexpected health crises. In fact, medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcies in the United States. Encourage your loved one to talk to an insurance professional who can identify gaps in coverage and recommend supplemental policies to defray the out-of-pocket costs of the primary policy.

Failing to Adjust Expenses to Match Income

Even with a decent amount of savings, most seniors find they have to modify their lifestyles and expenses after retirement. Seniors who don’t make adjustments often turn to various forms of debt to make ends meet, which only makes a bad situation even worse. Scaling back expenses can be as simple as choosing a lower cable and phone service package or as big as downsizing to a smaller residence.

Saving Too Little

The way Americans save for their golden years has not necessarily kept pace with today’s increased life expectancies and prices. Even with Social Security, many seniors find their savings run short, which often leads to increased credit card use to cover basic living expenses. If your loved one is heading into retirement, a financial advisor can help review his or her income, expenses, and savings to ensure he or she is on solid financial footing. Even if your loved one is long past retirement, a financial advisor can still recommend cost cutting, investment, and other measures to maximize his or her income and savings.

Loss of a Spouse

The death of a spouse can significantly impact a senior’s financial situation. Income streams can come to an immediate end, and funeral and other final expenses can amount to thousands of dollars. An insurance professional can help your loved one determine an appropriate type of life insurance coverage to ensure he or she remains financially comfortable in the event of a spouse passing.

If your loved one is at serious risk of going into debt, consider hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can alert you if your loved one engages in risky behavior that may lead to debt, and they can also provide emotional support, assist with mobility, and help with a wide array of everyday tasks. For more information on the senior care Palm Beach, FL, families trust, call 561.429.8292 to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers.