Brief Is Household Debt Growing for Older Americans?
Nadia Karamcheva
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An increasing number of Americans are entering old age with outstanding debt, forcing many retirees to devote some income to servicing their debt and leaving them with less to cover daily living expenses. Using Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data, this brief reports that the share of adults ages 65 and older with outstanding debt increased from 30 to 46 percent between 1998 and 2010. The inflation-adjusted median value of debt grew 56 percent over the period and the average ratio of total household debt over total household assets more than doubled.
Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Wealth and financial well-being Aging and retirement
Tags Economic well-being Asset and debts Pensions Income and wealth distribution Retirement policy Financial stability Family credit and debt
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center