The “golden years” may not seem so golden to many Tennessee seniors and others around the nation. When there are constant worries about how to make ends meet, it is difficult to fully enjoy one’s retirement. Many have worked tirelessly their entire lives yet find themselves struggling financially. This can particularly be the case if unforeseen medical expenses occur. Reports show that the number of older consumers filing for bankruptcy has increased dramatically over the past two decades.

The Consumer Bankruptcy Project conducted a nationwide study on filings for bankruptcy protection. The data showed that, from 1991 to 2016, the rate of bankruptcy filings among seniors tripled. Oft-cited reasons for the filings include skyrocketing medical expenses and the changes made to corporate retirement plans over the years.

A report titled “Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society” also noted that money from social programs has decreased over the years as well, contributing to the financial uncertainty for many. One community specialist noted a situation where a man over the age of 80 had incurred debt over $100,000. The man was in a position of having to use his credit cards to pay for his medical costs, and the amount continued to grow. Many in similar situations are at a place in their lives they never imagined they would be.

If someone is facing an insurmountable level of debt and doesn’t see a way out of it, a Tennessee bankruptcy attorney can provide some much-needed guidance. A knowledgeable lawyer will explain the different options of bankruptcy filings and work with clients to determine the best option for them. The goal is to get clients back on the right financial path.