Three Things That Can Derail Your Retirement

Three Things That Can Derail Your Retirement

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The American Dream – work hard and retire comfortably at 65 - is more of a dream than a reality for most seniors.  A new GAO analysis finds that among households with members aged 55 or older, nearly 29 percent have neither retirement savings nor a traditional pension plan. Baby boomers are the first generation in American history to be entering retirement saddled with debt.


Credit Card Debt: Thirty-seven percent of Americans have credit card debt greater than or equal to their emergency savings, so a steep medical bill, a car accident, or other unexpected expense could mean financial disaster. This is far more serious for seniors than for younger Americans. Credit cards are listed as the largest pitfall for senior citizens. Faced with rising health care costs, older people are often forced to use credit cards to make ends meet.

Mortgage Debt:  Part of that American Dream is owning a home. However, the drop in property values and the worst recession since the 1930s have taken a toll on that too.  Statistics show that 25 percent of households headed by people 65 and up with incomes over $100,000, still have mortgage liabilities.

The median mortgage held by Americans 65 and older has more than doubled since 2001 — to $88,000 from $43,400.   A substantial number of older Americans are stuck with mortgages that exceed their home's value.  This situation can absolutely derail the envisioned retirement plan.

Helping Children Financially

Nearly 60% of baby boomers provide financial support to adult children, according to a YEAR report from the National Center for Public Policy. This can put their retirement plans at risk. With real wages stagnant and unemployment among those age 16 to 24 still above 10%, many seniors have to help their adult children with rent, cell phones, cars, and vacations.

The best way to ensure a peaceful and comfortable retirement is to manage your credit cards, mortgage payments, and put a plan in place to retire debt free.


Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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