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Financial Security Uncertain for Iowa Seniors

June 26, 2008

Des Moines, IA – From the early 1990s until last year, the rate of bankruptcies among U.S. senior citizens has skyrocketed. According to the Consumer Bankruptcy Report released by AARP, bankruptcies are up 150 percent for those 65 and older and up 433 percent for those 75 and older.

Ann Black, Communications Director with AARP Iowa, says that in past generations, this age group was the most financially secure - but times have changed.

"Health care costs are definitely a factor. If you have a catastrophic illness and your insurance is not adequate, that one incident can shoot you into bankruptcy."

Black notes the connection between health and economic security can be an overwhelming issue for older Iowans, which is why AARP has joined forces with business and other organizations to put it in the spotlight during this election year.

"The candidates are talking about these issues, and I think what we need to do now is to press the talk beyond the sound bites."

Black adds that, although some age groups can rebuild their savings, that's hard for seniors, who are typically retired.

Dick Layman/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - IA