Bankruptcy is not a problem only for young people. Tennessee residents may harbor the misconception that financial mismanagement during one’s youth is the root cause of economic struggles. However, recent trends in bankruptcy filings suggest that even individuals who have reached retirement age can be affected by surprise bills, unexpected illnesses, and other catastrophes that can destroy their financial health.
According to a recent study, bankruptcy filings for older Americans are up. In 1991, only 2.1 percent of bankruptcy filings involved filers who were 65 years of age or older. However, in 2016 that figure jumped to 12.2 percent.
Bankruptcy can be hard on individuals who are at the ends of their careers or who have left their jobs for planned retirements. This is because they may not have the capacity to find jobs and rebuild their financial health the way that younger men and women can when financial troubles strike. Fixed incomes, few job options, and ethical concerns about the bankruptcy process can cause older Americans to struggle with managing the financial problems.
It is important that readers of all ages remember that bankruptcy is not a sign of failure. In fact, it is a proactive step for many people who simply cannot get ahead of their finances without help. It is a legal process that allows individuals to restructure their debt or sell off their assets so that they might find solid financial footing in the future. As with all bankruptcy-related issues, it is advisable for individuals with questions about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to seek the advice of attorneys that they know and trust.