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FLM 2017: 5 Facts You Should Know About Senior Debt

With less income after retirement, keeping their debt under control has become challenging for some seniors.

In the spirit of Financial Literacy Month, here are some facts about senior debt that could help you or a loved one make more informed decisions:

  1. Senior Canadians’ household debt has risen more than 17 per cent over the last three years.
  2. Canadian household consumer debt is over $22,000, and senior household debt is over $15,000.
  3. Big life events tend to impact senior finances and increase debt, such as divorce, illness, spouse’s death, loss of pension and elder abuse. Seniors also take on debt to help out their family members who need financial support.
  4. Seniors are often the target of financial fraud.
  5. Senior women often have smaller pensions than men. And divorced or widowed women with only one pension for income can have more financial challenges.


How can seniors get help with debt?

Seniors have lower incomes and less opportunities to pay off debts. Unlike younger generations, older Canadians can’t always find additional income through employment or a side gig. But even on a limited income seniors can reduce their debt.

The stigma associated with debt can keep some seniors from seeking advice, but it’s important to get help with debt as soon as challenges arise. Depending on your financial situation, a credit counsellor can help with budgeting and money management tips, or a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) can explain available debt solutions.

Seniors can also take advantage of the amazing amount of resources available during Financial Literacy Month. Personal finance blogs and financial literacy websites offer debt and money management advice — or you can join the conversation on Twitter!

Our Debt Free Family to learn about debt repayment strategies like the debt snowball.

Visit the Government of Canada website for advice and resources on how to protect yourself from frauds and scams.

Are you worried about debt in retirement? #DebtSolutions #ItPaysToKnow #LITsCanHelp #FLM2017

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