Close Close

Financial Planning > College Planning > Student Loan Debt

Boomers talk about their debt

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a group of boomers about their debt and what, if anything, they are doing about it. Read on to find out their thoughts on how debt is affecting their retirement. Also, if you have talked with boomers and counseled them on their debt please comment below or send us your thoughts at [email protected].

See also: Seniors and the problem with debt 

About three years ago, I had an illness that required surgery and my husband was involved in a minor car crash. Both of us were in shock when we finally got the hospital bills. We had heard about people getting into trouble because of medical bills, but we didn’t think it would happen to us. We thought we were covered by insurance, but somehow we still ended up with huge bills. We are still struggling to pay them off.

Maureen, 63
Fairhope, Ala.

I would’ve been fine except that my ex-wife had a shoe addiction that got way out of hand. She bought other stuff, too, but shoes were her thing. She must’ve had 100 pair. When we got divorced, I found out she had had some credit cards I didn’t know about. Needless to say, I got stuck paying them. Her lawyer really took me to the cleaners in the divorce, so I must admit I’ve been relying pretty heavily on credit cards since then. It’ll be up to about 50 grand by now.

Gabe, 58
Mount Pleasant, SC

I wish I was doing more about it, but everything’s so expensive these days. Every year things seem to cost more. I have four credit cards that are all maxed out that I just pay the minimum on. But I have pretty good equity in my house and good healthcare and benefits with my job. A few years ago, my daughter got pregnant unexpectedly. She also had some heavy student loan debt, so I’ve been helping her out. Hopefully one day, she’ll return the favor!

Andrea, 55
Urbandale, Iowa

We’re lucky. We have very little debt outside our mortgage. When I started my business, I had to take out a loan from the bank, which I have had to renew twice. But I’ve always been leery of debt. My father really hammered it into me and my brother about the evils of debt. So, I always pay for things in cash when I can — cars and the like. It’s so easy to slip under a mountain of debt. We have some friends who have declared bankruptcy. Not fun. I guess you could say I’m phobic about debt.

Jim, 60
Montgomery Township, NJ

For more from Daniel Williams, see:

Survey: Is a securities license important to you?

Coach, teacher … annuity advisor?

The whitewater river guide to being a fiduciary


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.