Edited By Olivia S. Mitchell and Annamaria Lusardi
Oxford University Press | November 2020
Summary: Around the world, people nearing and entering retirement are holding ever-greater levels of debt than in the past. This is not a benign situation, as many pre-retirees and retirees are stressed about their indebtedness. Moreover, this growth in debt among the older population may render retirees vulnerable to financial shocks, medical care bills, and changes in interest rates. Contributors to this volume explore key aspects of the rise in debt across older cohorts, drill down into the types of debt and reasons for debt incurred by the older population, and review policies to remedy some of the financial problems facing older persons, in the US and elsewhere. The authors explore which groups are most affected by debt and identify the factors producing this important increase in leverage at older ages.
It is clear that the economic and market environment is influential when it comes to saving and debt. Access to easy borrowing, low interest rates, and the rising cost of education have had significant impacts on how much people borrow, and how much debt they carry at older ages. In this environment, the capacity to manage debt is ever more important as older workers lack the opportunity to recover from mistakes.
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