RSS Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Featured Advisor

Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

Click to see the full profile

Share |

Baby Boomers and Seniors Carrying More Debt: Census Bureau

Credit card debt is down, but unsecured debt such as student loans is on the rise

| BY Donald Liebenson

The good news: The percentage of U.S. households holding some form of debt declined from 74 percent to 69 percent between 2000 and 2011. The bad news: Those households with debt have more of it. The median amount of household debt increased over this period from $50,971 to $70,000.  Those with the heaviest debt burden: Seniors.

Between 2000 and 2011, according to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the largest increases in median debt were seen in households led by someone ages 35 to 44 (to $108,000), 45-54 (to $86,000) and 55 to 64 (to $70,000) But the largest percentage increases in debt belonged to households led by baby boomers ages 55 to 64 (64 percent) and seniors 65 and older (more than doubling to $26,000). Seniors were the only age group whose likelihood of holding debt rose over the period (from 41 percent to 44 percent).

"Those 65 and over became more likely to hold debt against their homes, and their median housing debt increased, as well, which explains a significant portion of the increase in their overall debt between 2000 and 2011," Census Bureau economist Marina Vornovytskyy said in a statement.

Click here to read what investors over the age of 60 consider to be the greatest obstacles to their retirement.

Mortgages and home-equity debt accounts for more than three-fourths (78 percent) of all household debt

During the period, the composition of debt held by households also changed considerably, the Census Bureau reported. While the percentage holding credit card debt declined from 51 percent in 2000 to 38 percent in 2011, the percentage holding other unsecured debt, such as educational loans and medical bills not covered by insurance, rose from 11 percent to 19 percent.

"Householders under age 45 experienced the largest increases in both the likelihood of holding other debt and the amount of other debt," Vornovytskyy said.

College costs and debt are the leading concerns of students and their parents. Click here to read more.

Paying down debt was one of the top three financial resolutions (along with spending less and saving more) made by Affluent investors at the beginning of the year, according to a Millionaire Corner survey.

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.