Back in the day, the goal was to put in your 30 years, retire at 65 with a party and a gold watch, and then enjoy your pension. However, today Baby Boomers are finding the need to delay retirement simply because they can’t afford to. Gone are the days of a pension plan and social security that would fund your golden years.
In fact, Baby Boomers are the first generation to have to survive their fall and winter years with their own invested savings and sadly, too many of them just aren’t financially prepared.
“Research by the Insured Retirement Institute also suggests trouble for retiring Boomers. According to the study, 24% of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings – the lowest number since the study started in 2011. Only 55% of Baby Boomers have some retirement savings and, of those, 42% have less than $100,000. Thus, approximately half of retirees are, or will be, living off of their Social Security benefits. (Investopedia)”
STRATEGIES WITHOUT FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY
At Bankruptcy Advocates we encounter a number of Baby Boomers who not only can’t afford to retire but are faced with a mountain of debt to due medical expenses and college loans obtained to put their children through school. Too many are living only on Social Security.
Every month we sit down with people who should be on the golf course enjoying the fruits of their hard labor but instead are working long hours just trying to make ends meet.
What is Your Course of Action?
If you are faced with the need to delay retirement due to lack of funds or overwhelming debt, there are a number of things you can do:
- Assess the situation. The first step is to gain a clear understanding of your financial picture. What is your income, what are your debts – how long will it take to pay them off and determine what you due are in terms of pension, social security and Medicare benefits.
- Determine what you will need financially to pay for your bills – make sure to include a little extra to set aside for the unexpected expense.
- Formulate a plan for paying off any existing loans, past IRS payments, credit card bills.
- Seek assistance to determine if there are any programs available to help with some of the debt. Many states have debt forgiveness programs for senior citizens.
- Work the plan. Once you have determined your plan, follow-through. The sooner you pay down the debt, the sooner you can begin planning for retirement.
While the picture of your retirement years may be different from what you imagined when you entered the work force at twenty, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a good life. With a little planning, budgeting and initiative, your golden years can still be enjoyable.
PENSION INCOME IN BANKRUPTCY
The Federal Government and every State has an exemption provision for pensions which are available even if you file for bankruptcy. The rules are necessarily complex, with some courts ruling that the exemption for pension benefits is not as expansive once you have starting drawing on your retirement income. If you are so burdened by debt, and your health is failing so that you not able to work as hard and as long, the ideal time to file a petition in bankruptcy is just before you elect to retire and before you start drawing on your pension. If all you are doing is working for your creditors and you are destroying your health while you doing it, bankruptcy may be your best and only option.
Need help? Give us a call or email our office. The first consultation is always free.
Southern Illinois Bankruptcy Attorney law firm Bankruptcy Advocates is located in Carbondale and serves a wide geographic community. The first consultation is always free. Give us a call at 618-549-9800 or email us at [email protected] to speak about your case or legal matter. Convenient appointment times are available.