Saturday, January 29, 2011

Retirements Swallowed by Debt -

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Bill Freedman, 86, felt financially secure. He had a comfortable income from Social Security, an I.R.A., investments and an inheritance. But when he took a fall last October, his daughter, Nancy Freedman, went to his Manhattan apartment and found several credit cards piled up in a desk drawer. After making a few phone calls, she discovered he was $15,000 in debt.
. . .
Study after study shows that more elders are living with heavy credit card debt, regularly swiping cards to pay for things like gas and groceries. And as the balances pile up, the elderly cope in a number of ways. Some, like Mr. Freedman, permit their adult children to step in, while others seek outside counsel in an effort to preserve their independence. Some elderly debtors are trapped in limbo, too proud to ask for help but too strapped to pay off the debt.
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