Who Is Looking Out For Older Americans?

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BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Massachusetts primaries are less than four weeks away, the day after Labor Day.

Once that’s over, like it or not, you will be barraged by campaign ads and debates.

So here’s a tip on how to tell if a candidate is serious, or just talking ragtime: are they offering any ideas for how to avoid the looming bankruptcy catastrophe for older Americans?

According to a new study commissioned by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project, “for an increasing number of older Americans, [the] golden years are fraught with economic risks, the result of which is often bankruptcy.” In the past 27 years the rate of bankruptcy filing by people 65 or older has tripled – tripled!

According to the study, “older Americans…are struggling with increased financial risks…inadequate income and unmanageable costs of healthcare, as they try to deal with reductions to their social safety net.”

Add on education and home-mortgage debt many seniors have taken on to help their children and grandchildren, and the rapid disappearance of conventional pensions in favor of self-managed 401ks subject to market swings, and you have a bad situation that promises to get worse in the next few years.

And enquiring minds want – or should want – to know: what do all these pols on the make intend to do about it?

The first thing to look for is, who is even talking about this?

If they aren’t, ask why.

If they are wise to the problem, let’s hear some answers.

What creative new ideas for dealing with debt, out-of-pocket healthcare costs and the rest have they gleaned from their research?

And if they haven’t done that homework, what on earth are they doing in the race?

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. Listen to his previous podcasts on iHeartRadio. 

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Keller @ Large

Keller @ Large

Jon Keller is a WBZ TV & Radio political analyst. Read more

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