Employee Benefit Research Institute. Debt of the Elderly and Near Elderly, 1992–2013. January 2015, Vol. 36, No. 1
- “More older American families have debt: The percentage of American families with heads ages 55 or older that had debt increased from 63.4 percent in 2010 to 65.4 percent in 2013. Furthermore, the percentage of these families with debt payments greater than 40 percent of income—a traditional threshold measure of debt load trouble—increased in 2013 to 9.2 percent from 8.5 percent in 2010.
- However, other debt measures were down: Total debt payments as a percentage of income decreased from 11.4 percent in 2010 to 10.0 percent in 2013, and average debt decreased from $80,465 in 2010 to $73,211, while debt as a percentage of assets decreased from 8.5 percent in 2010 to 8.1 percent in 2013.
- Housing debt drove the change in the level of debt payments in 2013, while the nonhousing (consumer) debt-payment share of income held stable from 2010. Housing debt was the major component of debt for families headed by individuals ages 55 or older.
- The debt levels among those with housing debt have obvious and serious implications for the future retirement security of these Americans, perhaps most significantly that these families are potentially at risk of losing what is typically their most important asset—their home.”