For Millions Of Senior Citizens The Only Future They Have To Look Forward To Is One Filled With Debt And Poverty

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In America today, millions upon millions of senior citizens are very deep in debt.  In fact, more elderly Americans than ever before are going bankrupt.  Millions of others are living in extreme poverty or are just barely getting by on meager fixed incomes.    Meanwhile, the price of food is going up, the price of gasoline is going up, the cost of heating homes is going up and health insurance premiums are absolutely soaring.  Millions of our senior citizens suddenly find themselves financially squeezed more than they ever have been in their entire lives.  Unfortunately, at the same time all of this is happening, our government officials are realizing that they simply don’t have the money to keep the financial promises that they have been making to our retirees.  Sadly, what this all means is that for millions of our senior citizens, the only future they have to look forward to is one filled with debt, poverty and financial pain.


One recent survey conducted by CESI Debt Solutions discovered that 56 percent of American retirees still had outstanding debts when they retired.  That is a shockingly high number.  Retirement is not supposed to be about debt.  In fact, it is hard enough to try to survive on a fixed income without having to worry about debt payments.  But now most Americans that retire do so with debt still on the books.

What is even more sad is that an increasing number of senior citizens are going bankrupt.  A recent study by a law professor from the University of Michigan found that Americans that are 55 years of age or older now account for 20 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States.  Back in 2001, they only accounted for 12 percent of all bankruptcies.  This is obviously very troubling news.  In fact, between 1991 and 2007 the number of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 that filed for bankruptcy rose by a staggering 178 percent.

Many elderly Americans are under such financial stress these days that they have simply decided never to retire.  According to a recent AARP survey of Baby Boomers, 40 percent of them plan to work “until they drop”.

What about you?

Do you plan to work until you drop?

If not, how are you going to make it?

Are you planning to depend on the government?

The sad truth is that our state and local governments are broke and they are starting to realize that there is simply no way that they can fulfill all of the financial promises that they have made to those that are now retiring.  Just consider the following quote from a recent Natural News article about the crisis New York state is currently facing….

New York State, along with its cities and counties, have promised $200 billion worth of retirement health care benefits to their employees, and no one knows where that money is going to come from, according to a study conducted by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

But it isn’t just state and local governments that are facing horrific financial problems. In a previous article entitled “In 2011 The Baby Boomers Start To Turn 65: 16 Statistics About The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Drop Your Jaw“, I detailed the horrific financial crunch that Medicare and the Social Security system will be facing in the years ahead.  The sad truth is that Medicare and Social Security could potentially bankrupt the U.S. government all by themselves even without all of the other massive financial challenges that we are now facing.

But even if our politicians are somehow able to borrow enough money to fulfill their promises to those that will be retiring over the next decade, the reality is that it still will not be nearly enough for most elderly Americans to even afford the basics in an environment of rapidly rising prices.

In 2010, agricultural commodity prices exploded and this is putting significant upward pressure on thousands of different products that we buy at the supermarket.  According to the United Nations, food prices are now higher than they have ever been before, and there is great concern that food prices are going to rise very, very quickly over the next decade.

Not only that, but oil prices are starting to rise aggressively.  A member of Kuwait’s Supreme Petroleum Council recently declared that the price of oil could hit $110 a barrel “within a few weeks”.  So how are millions of seniors on a fixed income going to cope when the price of a gallon of gasoline goes to four or five dollars a gallon?

The cost of health insurance is also skyrocketing.  For example, according to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year.

All of this is causing great concern for millions of elderly Americans that are trying to get by on a fixed income.  Millions of senior citizens are honestly frightened about what the future is going to bring.  The following is a comment that was recently left by a reader of this column named Jackie….

I have been a stay at home Mom since I was 20. I have one left. I was born in 57 and I have worked in the employment field off and on during my life. I am married. Well, I just got my new social security statement, well they changed it. I used to be getting something and now nothing. So, all my husband and I will get is his social security. We know we are in trouble. We lost our business due to the economics of this world. I know I will have to go back to work, I am for it, but..I know we need to do something drastic to be prepared for our retirement..we can not depend on the government. We are scared. Our five children laugh at us and say things like we are going to have to take care of you guys. Nice thought but in reality…not! No parent wants to be dependant on their children…might be pride..but we want to take care of them. I am worried about our generation, because I see a lot of people just like us out there in the same boat. I am a Christian and I depend on God’s word. He is my only hope.

For those that are younger, it is easy to tell them to just suck it up and work harder.  But for millions of Americans in their 70s, 80s and 90s “working harder” simply is not an option.

As the U.S. economy continues to unravel and as the cost of providing the basics continues to go up, large numbers of elderly Americans are going to find themselves unable to heat their homes and unable to afford health care.  Many will even find themselves without enough to eat.

But this is where we are at as a nation.  We are on the verge of one of the greatest financial disasters the world has ever seen.  So hopefully younger Americans will open up their hearts and their homes and will take care of the older members of their families, because millions of them are really going to need it.

  • SGary

    Don’t be decieved. Gary is not a real person. He is just someone pretending to be a moron to get everyone stirred up and feeling hopeless. Trust me, no one is that stupid.

  • Michael

    There is no god for you to depend on at all. If the economy collapses, you are screwed.

  • Gary

    I volunteer as a driver/delivery for the local meals on wheels 1 day per week.(I get 1 weekday off as I work Sat)

    If you could see the poverty some of the seniors live in you would agree that instead of giving tax cuts to rich people like the right and Obama did, you could see that that money could have been better spent to help the truly needy. I literally want to vomit when I think of already rich people who do not need any more money getting another tax cut. When the top 1% has more wealth and income than the bottom 90% something is wrong. I do not see how anyone could say this is good or even OK. They need to double SSI payments and TAX THE RICH to pay for it.

    Tax the greedy to help the needy!

    AS Robert Reich said is his excellent book “Aftershock” “Even the rich would do better having a small piece of a growing and dynamic economy than having a large piece of a stagnant and declining economy”

  • Gary

    PS—–I think it’s time to stop using the word “earned” when talking about the rich and their wealth flow. “Acquired” is much, much more apt.

  • William

    The USA spends over $5 billion A MONTH in Afghanistan, where there will be no real victory for America. America wasted a TRILLION dollars that it borrowed from China in the phoney and unnecessary war of choice in Iraq…..a war which has killed almost 5,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqi citizens. It is sad that today’s seniors, and tomorrow’s retirees will suffer so from these acts of stupidity. I am a senior and I am being squeezed more and more each month. Did you ever think about that greeter at Walmart?? I doubt if that older person is really happy to stand on their feet for a shift pushing carts to shoppers. They are there for economic necessity, which will get worse. Young people should carefully assess their saving, investing and spending habits. It is better to conserve today so one may consume tomorrow. Maybe that new car, bauble, etc is not such a good idea….huh??

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Another great Post I’ve been watching this for a wile it’s just not in debt Seniors in trouble, or Seniors who didn’t save. It’s you single moms dependent on welfare, Food Stamps, Section 8. It’s the millions dependent on Social Security Disability. These people are going to be destroyed when the checks stop coming. If you have a job save, store food water, get a support system you’re much likely to survive this with a group than alone.

  • George Kadlec

    George Orwell stated “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

    Hillaire Belloc stated “It is a nice question whether ignorance or stupidity play the greater part in human affairs.”

  • Aurora

    Following up on SGary’s comment: I’ve been meaning to say this for a while, but SGary beat me to it. Gary/Gary2 is a fictitious person created by someone as comic relief for these discussions. I wouldn’t be surprised if “he” is a creation of the webmaster. And if he is, I consider it smart internet marketing (I wouldn’t blame him given the economic situation)

    Following up on Michael’s post: Agreed. If there was a god to depend on, things wouldn’t have gotten this far and this bad. Dream on with that rehashed Christian rhetoric. Until you rot. Blame everything on that make-believe boogeyman with pitchfork and horns that “they” created for the United States to keep it dumbed down…keep spoutin’ that heaven vs. hell paradigm just like the right vs. left module until you’re dust…while they laugh at you, milking you for every last drop even while the titanic sinks.

  • Ouida Gabriel

    Our society has changed the way we function and it has had thousands of tiny ripples. If a adult child allowed the parents to come into the home and contribute to the home structure then it would relieve many a bad situation. God never stated we should retire at a certain age. Man has dictated that. When a man or woman gets older they can still weed garden, clean a stall, read a book to the grandbaby, do dishes or anything their body allows them to do. Instead we each decide we need our individual homes and cars. People decided they are entitled to run from coast to coast seeing the country. If we focused on making our individual families better then this country could be great again.

  • A Dodgy Bloke


    You don’t watch much mainstream news do you? Trust me there are a lot of people who are that stupid.

  • William

    Michael: You sound so sure and confident that there is no god to depend on at all. How sure are you?? How have you arrived at that conclusion? You have believed the lie from the deciever who wants to keep you in the hopeless state that you are in, to keep you a slave of hopelessness. I encourage you to read the Bible with an open mind and seeking heart, and you will find answers. I am watching the world events take place and slowly checking off descriptions and prophies in the Bible regarding the end of this world as we know it.

  • What is this rehashed crap – Re-categorizing retirees as “senior citizens” doesn’t mean they aren’t still Boomers. Regardless of what name they are known by, I’m not shedding any tears for them because it won’t be just the poor senior citizens who are homeless & starving. What about everyone else who *didn’t* have access to the same bennies the Boomers did throughout their entire lives? Anyone who has to work for a living is in the exact same boat.

  • Guido

    Good point, Peyton. I had a realization a year or so back that kind of floored me. When I was a kid, all the old people I saw were people I could respect. They were WWI and WWII vets, loving grandmothers, and just generally good folks. I was raised to see older folks as reliable, good people who deserved and demanded respect. When I raise my kids, however, I won’t be able to teach them that same value. Instead, the old people they see will be aging protestors, drug addicts, radicals, malcontents, etc who spent their lives focused on themselves. Not all, I know, but a lot of the Baby Boomers were selfish jerks. They certainly weren’t like their parents and grandparents, even though they’ll look like them in the coming years…

    I also have to point out, it’s hard to feel bad for them, since statistically it’s the elderly in this country who have the greatest concentration of wealth. Many are poor, yes, but the old in our nation have had the longest to accumulate the most wealth PLUS the benefits they demand from the gov’t. Until recently, wealth planners advised old people to plan to be broke and demanding gov’t money for support by 80. THAT was the plan they were advising-game the system for free support. My own folks got this advice at a Duke U. seminar 10-15 years ago.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    Are a lot of Baby Boomers in The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA) going to be eating dog food in their old age? You bet they are. Between the disappearance of company pensions, Social Security challenges (fewer people working means fewer people paying into the system), and low interest rates for retirement accounts (IRA-connected CDs are paying next to nothing), there is a severe retirement crisis in our decaying banana republic. And a lot of Generation-Xers will be living on the DSDFD (Dollar Store Dog Food Diet) when they grow old (the oldest X-ers are turning 46 this year). But at least there were many X-ers who did really well during the Bill Clinton years and were able to put some money away. Generation Y, however, entered adulthood after the Clinton-era prosperity. The Boomers and Gen-X have been screwed by The White Shoe Boys and the neo-feudalist robber barons, but Gen-Y is EVEN MORE screwed. And Generation Z will be even worse off than Gen-Y because they will have no memory of a time when this country wasn’t a rotting, decaying, collapsing Third World banana republic.

    Of course, becoming a senior citizen on the DSDFD (Dollar Store Dog Food Diet) is impossible if one doesn’t live long enough to reach old age—and the health insurance system is so horribly broken in the BRA that life expectancy will inevitably plummet here. Health insurance companies kill, maim and injure a lot of more Americans than terrorists, and the situation is only going to get worse. Thus, many members of Gen-X, Gen-Y and Gen-Z who get sick won’t live long enough to grow old in The Banana Republic of America.

  • Stray Cat

    If I can’t work till I drop, I’m gonna go live at Gary’s place. He seems like such a kind, caring person towards the downtrodden. I just hope he doesn’t mind my radio blaring Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levine all day and night.

  • Ouida Gabriel

    “Not all, I know, but a lot of the Baby Boomers were selfish jerks.” It is sad at how true this is. My parents lived off of the government since my father lost his welding job in ’81 or ’82. It seemed like as soon as they realized they could squeak by on hand outs then they did. Neither parent worked a real job again. Now they both get SSI because they “poor health”. On the other side of the coin is my husband’s family. They worked hard all their lives but used credit cards and their home as a ATM. I was told my a family member that my in laws stated they wanted to leave nothing to their children but the bills. And so it seems they will.

    Ouida Gabriel

  • $_$

    demolish all the tenement ghetto housing in NYC. 30-40k+ low-life drug infested welfare rats, put them in Fema camps, make them work.. it would also stop the bowling ball/rock throwing off the viaducts.

    • Carolyn Baker

      You are such a bigot …if Black people were the majority on Welfare in this country you can bet you white ass that there would be no welfare. You are scrambling for anything that will save your butt what you refuse to believe is that the 1% your people want you dead because you are of no use to them ….and there are too many people on the planet period…too many white people, native american, Black, Hispanic, Oriental etc etc etc. 4 people and 4 computers can do the work of 400 people and robots can clean up the s”””! so while you are screaming out your window about the ghetto…your house is being burned down by the powers that be…and that ain’t me! You are stupid!

  • sth_txs

    Well, hey, they voted for it, did they not? Now the the piper will be paid in full.

    I don’t have much sympathy for them, especially if they have a liberal bent. They voted for fools all their lives.

    There are plenty of wealthy liberals like Kerry (skipped out on yacht tax), Pelosi, and Feinstein and others with millions. I’m sure they ‘pay their fair share’ in taxes.

  • Gary2

    Based on Internal Revenue Service figures, if middle- and upper-middle-class families had maintained the same share of American productivity that they held in 1980, they would be making an average of $12,500 more per year.

    That bears repeating: $12,500 of MY money every year to the richest 1 percent, and $600 more to pay my share of their tax cuts!
    That’s our money the very rich are taking!

    Public opinion is more and more on my side-TAX THE RICH AND SPREAD THE WEALTH! NOW!

  • Ken

    “Unfortunately, at the same time all of this is happening, our government officials are realizing that they simply don’t have the money to keep the financial promises that they have been making to our retirees.” The government officials are not realizing it just now, they knew it all along. They knew it when they were making the promises to goo-goo eyed robo-voters during the last several presidential campaigns.

  • Gary

    All the rich need to be taxed and the wealth spread around-right/left/and in between. I do not discriminate on taxing the rich.

  • I am a 50+ yr old boomer with no prospect of retiring. I don’t have much debt but one accident requiring medical care would probably wipe me out for ever. Sickness will merely kill me.

    I expect, in twenty years or less, it will be possible for people in their seventies to euthanize themselves without much hassle – that’s what I am counting on, anyway.

  • After working hard, all you’ll get is a debt to payoff. Since you’re already retired,you have all the time to have fun and enjoy,unfortunately, you don’t have the money since there are a lot of jokers in the Congress, Senate and White House…

    We help Americans find jobs and prosperity in Asia. For details, visit

  • Disgusted

    You know, I have read a lot on this comment section. But I really get disgusted when I hear people belly ache about people that are on disability. What do you expect them to do? You people would not insist on the AD putting some teeth in the act itself. No one wants to hire the disabled, keep them, nor treat them right. They push them aside like old, dead, rotten meat. Some people want to talk bad about them, but have not lift a finger to prevent it, or fix it. And Vocational rehab is not possible. There is no money, and there are no programs to help them. And even if they did there are no laws to insure that they are hired, or can keep the jobs once they get them. And you are going to have to do something to keep those that are in Doctors care, and on Medicare to keep on it or something. They are not going to be able to get insurance once the GOP has their way. And even IF they could, it would either not be affordable, or the preexisting problems exempt.
    Being on disability is not fun. You are forced to use other programs to survive. And there are many people that are on it that a sick of it.
    I know that it can be a hard subject to talk about for some people. And things are a mess.

    Can we get it fixed?

  • Here in Canada we keep saying that things are better for our seniors – and while that may be true to some extent, many will face a similar fate in the future.

    While the onslaught of money printing will, one day, equal higher interest rates across the board and thus “more interest earned on one’s fixed income portfolio”, this meager increase wont be enough to offset much of the inflation which will eventually appear.

    There is help – seek out a prudent financial planner – not a funds or stack “Salesperson” impersonating as a planner, but seek out a true financial planner that gets compensated by way of fee – not on selling securities. Objective advice is out there and can make a huge difference in positioning your current and future income and expenses, leaving you with a bit more wiggle room.
    Saverio Manzo

  • Wake up everyone and learn to garden! Learn what is allowed to have where you live. Its not that hard to manage a couple of hens or some rabbits. Or a small veggie patch. People have become so reliant on foods in the grocer that many will starve due to the lack of know how for simple things that used to be necessities.

  • These are scary economic times. I am a baby boomer. Worked my entire adult life. I moved to Florida in 1994 and started over again. While I was able to obtain good paying jobs, this is an at will state and you work very very hard if you have a job. I lost my job 4 months ago that I had worked extremely hard at because the company which has a global presence was looking at ways to cut back to save money. This is a job I gave 50 hours a week to! Anyway, when I was young I raised a large family and learned how to can foods, cook well, freeze, pinch pennies and even made my own and my kids clothes. We can survive fairly well if we can be more self reliant. I love to call it beating the system since you don’t have to pay out all your resources to stores all the time. You can cook meals and freeze what you do not immediately use. We built our home with a solar panel and as needed plant our own veggies or go to the veggie stand. For baby boomers, think back to when you were young and poor. Most of us were.