By Christian Weller,
The relentless pace of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes are coming against a backdrop of large numbers of older adults struggling economically and taking on debt to make ends meet.
Even before the pandemic, debt was growing among older households. And the pandemic hit older adults especially hard. They experienced outsized health and employment impacts and weren’t eligible for some of the more generous forms of pandemic relief, which focused on families with children at home. And even as the economy has rebounded, for many older adults, economic pressures continue.
Last year, poverty rates for those over age 65 went up, while falling for other age groups. And it’s not only those at the very bottom of the economic ladder who are struggling. The share of people reporting difficulty paying regular expenses (things like groceries, rent, and healthcare) has nearly doubled over the last 12 months and now stands at 35% among those 65 and over. Given these headwinds, many older adults are relying on debt to make ends meet.
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