I recently met with a person who is 79 years old. He’s not the oldest client I’ve ever met with, not by a long shot. I’ve met with active seniors who were over 90.
His situation was an eyeopener, though one that is becoming increasingly common. He and his 72-year-old wife have plenty of money coming in every month through his full-time job and their typical monthly expenses, while not particularly low, were not unreasonable. I saw ways they could reduce this a bit without a lot of trouble.
So what is the problem?
Credit card debt
Try over $80,000 in credit card debt, with over $2,000.00 in minimum payments. Those minimum payments often go to mostly interest, so I figure the client would be close to 100 years old before he paid off the debt at the current rate of payment. Since he wasn’t certain that he would get to 100 years old, he decided to come in to see me at Steidl & Steinberg.
The first thing I asked him was whether he was continuing to work just to pay the bills. Without hesitation he said “yes”. Then I asked him if he would retire if I could get rid of the bills. My client Once again he never hesitated and said “yes”.
He stated that he was worn out and that he would like to work on his health and on spending time with his wife. I then told the client that if he wanted to retire, he could then discharge the bills by filing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. He didn’t have much in the way of property or vehicles, so there weren’t any issues I could see that would prevent him from doing this or would cause him to lose any property of any sort.
Help for seniors
He then did what any happily married guy would do. He told me it sounded great but he would have to discuss it with his wife. I expect he will get back to me soon with a positive answer because he is facing two alternatives: One is that he can keep the debt and keep on working. But until when? Another is that he will get rid of the debt, but also get rid of his job.
You may know of a senior who is having financial difficulties. If so, give them our number at Steidl & Steinberg. They should be looking at their future with pleasure, not with heartache.