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Debt from Decades Ago Can Resurface Unexpectedly
How often do you hear your senior parent tell you a story about his past that you’ve never heard before? In his long life, he’s undoubtedly had hundreds of experiences that he’s never recounted to you, and in fact he may have forgotten about them himself. That doesn’t mean that everyone has forgotten about them, though. When those experiences include incurring debt, they have a way of turning up even decades later. Financial experts are seeing a surprising number of elderly folks face student debt problems, whether from their own college days or those of their children/grandchildren.
Lenders Don’t Forget Their Loans!
It is fairly easy to forget to make payments on a student loan. But the agency that granted the loan is far less likely to forget about it! The federal government is one of the biggest educational lenders, and it is in a position to tap into the paychecks and Social Security benefits of those who have borrowed money and then failed to repay it. More than one senior has seen his Social Security check suddenly decrease, only to discover that the government is taking payment on a long-forgotten school loan. In such a case, some swift and skillful financial action is needed in order to set up a more workable repayment plan and restore an appropriate level of support to the senior.
Setting Finances in Order
As seniors make the transition from independent to dependent living, it is easy for bookkeeping to suffer. There may be weeks or months during which no one is designated to manage bill payments, bank account oversight, or repayment of loans. The resulting confusion can easily lead to high costs in the form of late payment fees, penalties, and even Social Security check garnishment. Geriatric care managers recommend giving close planning and attention to the transfer of financial oversight from seniors to their younger, more capable family members in order to maintain control throughout the process.
Get Sound Financial Advice
The area of senior finances is a complicated one, with elements like Medicare, long-term care insurance, Social Security, pensions, retirement funds, and others coming into play. Help from a financial consultant who specializes in senior finance is invaluable. At the same time, there are plenty of practical steps that you can take to conserve your senior loved one’s money. Arranging for in-home professional care instead of enrollment in an expensive nursing home is one of those steps. We would love to discuss the many advantages that in-home care provides, while saving you money and allowing you to give your own career and family the attention that they deserve as well.
Photo by The U.S. National Archives