Older Americans owe more money, and they owe enough to make it a problem.
That’s according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which found that families headed by someone 55 or older saw their debt levels increase from 2010 to 2013, the latest year for which data is available.
The report, “Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992–2013,” found that such families carried a debt load of 63.4% in 2010 and that, by 2013, that had risen to 65.4%.
Perhaps that doesn’t sound like such a huge increase, but the level of debt has been rising since 1992, when it totaled 53.8% — more than 10% lower than its current level.
It’s one thing to owe lots of money, but when the payment level is high, too, it can be a recipe for disaster.
And among these older folks, the percentage of families whose payments amount to more than 40% of their income — an amount generally recognized as too much debt load — has risen as well: from 8.5% in 2010 to 9.2% in 2013.