Tags: Student | debt | burden | retirees

Study: Student Debt Burden Surging ... for Retirees

By    |   Wednesday, 20 May 2015 10:00 AM

You probably have seen plenty of reports about the explosion of student debt and its burden on the young, particularly millennials — those born in the early 1980s and afterward.

But older folks are getting hit too, thanks to the generous financial assistance they have provided to the higher education of their children and grandchildren.

Americans aged 65 to 74 now carry almost six times as much education debt as they did 25 years ago, according to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, USA Today reports.
Retirees with education debt on average have more than $2,300 of it, up from $400 in 1989.

That's leaving retirees and pre-retirees with less money for savings and spending. The trend is "drastic," Mike Ericson, a LIMRA research analyst who authored the report, tells USA Today.

"That's a type of debt that can hinder people being able to retire on time. And that's one type of debt you really don't want to have in retirement."

Meanwhile, what's preventing us from doing the right thing when it comes to saving for retirement?

A "big issue is the illusion of time," Scott Thoma, investment strategist for Edward Jones, tells Fox Business Network. In other words, we think we have more time than we actually do to build a retirement kitty.

"Many also don't understand how little steps can make a big difference," he notes. "For example, the average tax refund is about $3,000 a year. Investing this, every year over 30 years with a 7 percent return, could be $300,000 over 30 years."

Inertia also is an obstacle. "Just a problem with getting started," Thoma adds. "This is why steps such as auto-enrollment in employer-savings plans is important, automatically building a habit of savings."

Even if you are in the midst of paying off debt, "at least contribute enough to achieve the company match," and then worry about debt, Thoma advises.

He's referring to 401(k) plans. We are repeatedly advised by retirement experts to max out contributions to those plans. But many of us work at companies that don't have them, or we don't even work for a company full-time, freelancing instead.

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You probably have seen plenty of reports about the explosion of student debt and its burden on the young, particularly millennials — those born in the early 1980s and afterward.
Student, debt, burden, retirees
354
2015-00-20
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 10:00 AM
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