Retirement is supposed to be a time of enjoying life at a more relaxed pace, whether that’s traveling, golfing, being with grandchildren or simply enjoying hobbies. Louisiana residents save for decades to enjoy their golden years, but in many cases, what they’ve saved isn’t actually enough to carry them through. As a result, many older Americans are struggling with debt.

From 1999 to 2019, the total amount of debt for people over the age of 70 increased by 543%. This is alarming, and likely the result of several economic factors. One possible reason for this accumulation of debt is the downturn of certain social programs that many seniors used to rely on or planned to rely on in their retirement years.

For some, debt is the result of needing more to make ends meet. Health care is expensive, medicine can cost more than insurance can cover and even housing costs are high. Pension plans and insurance will likely not cover many of the needs an older adult will have after retiring, and this can lead to the need to take out loans and rely heavily on credit cards. Auto loans and even student loan costs also make up a portion of the debt held by older Americans.

Regardless of age, bankruptcy offers a Louisiana consumer a reasonable way to deal with various types of debt. This process can discharge certain balances, including medical debt and credit card debt, allowing the applicant to emerge to a better financial future. For many in retirement, this is becoming a more reasonable option.