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Baby boomers increasingly turning to Chapter 13 bankruptcy

Every generation has its own series of hurdles to jump. For California baby boomers, one of the biggest current hurdles seems to be too much debt, and not many people can get past it. Boomers are filing for Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy at the highest rate in five years, and there may not be much that anyone can do about the situation.

Baby boomers face a number of unique financial challenges. As this generation grew closer and closer to retirement, inflation drove up the cost of everything from housing to health care while their wages remained largely the same. According to one survey, 40% of boomers had saved $10,000 or less for retirement. Another 10% had not managed to save anything at all. With rising costs, dwindling incomes and no retirement savings to fall back on, it might be no surprise that adults over the age of 65 are struggling.

Adults aged 65 and older are responsible for approximately 14% -- or one out of every seven -- bankruptcy filings. This is five times as high as it was just a quarter of a century ago. In addition to factors outside of their control -- inflation, for example -- boomers are also carrying a lot of student loan and credit card debt. Much of that credit card debt can be attributed to the financial pressure pushing down on this generation.

Some baby boomers in California might struggle with the idea of filing for bankruptcy. For far too long, bankruptcy has been painted as something that only financially irresponsible consumers need, but this is not reality. At any age or for any number of reasons, a person can find him- or herself overwhelmed by debt. When that debt becomes too much to handle and begins to affect other facets of a person's life, it may be time to consider how Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help.

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