The growing trend of the elderly falling into more problem debt is not restricted to the United States alone.
Credit Counseling and Recovery Service of South Korea is reporting that of the total number of debt workouts they assisted people with last year, 24 percent were fifty years old or older.
Their examination of the workout data also uncovered low credit ratings rising among the same customer pool. Declining credit ratings more than doubled as more older South Koreans sank further into money troubles.
“The data reflects how people who have lost jobs or retired are facing financial difficulties since they still have to spend on education and living expenses,” said an official at the state-run agency.
It is estimated that by 2018, more than 14 percent of the population of South Korea will be over the age of 65. Unless things change, debt problems in South Korea, as in other places, will only intensify when people are least able to face it in the face of minimal retirement assets.
Consumer debt is truly the global international language.
If we look at current news from other distant locations we see additional examples of aging populations that are potentially going to do worse in the future. Take Greece for example, with unemployment raging and salaries cut by as much as 40%, the focus is becoming more about just getting by today and the future seems like a distant thought.
In America we tend to have as much shortsightedness. Part of that issue might be the age old problem of hyperbolic discounting while some of it might be so deeply ingrained in our language. See Your Primary Language Impacts Your Ability to Save for the Future.
Regardless, the tragedy brewing is to be in debt at a time in your life when your income earning potential is at it’s lowest. Being in debt at any time of your life is bad but being in debt when you are elderly is the worst.
If anything positive can come out of these events it is that not discounting the future is important. We need to get back to a time when we plan for our future financial life with as much focus as we plan for tomorrow.
The best way we can do that is by reducing our expenses today and saving the difference. Otherwise this article will become your reality, More People Preparing to Eat Dog Food in Retirement.
You can react to today but you really must think and plan for the future.