Lots of baby boomers face a bleak economic future as more approach retirement, and that won’t help President Barack Obama’s re-election chances.
A recent AARP report showed that those age 50 and older are carrying more mortgage debt than ever, and the increase in the rate of serious mortgage delinquency of older Americans from 2007 to 2011 has outpaced that of younger homeowners. “As the mortgage crisis continues, millions of older Americans are struggling to maintain their financial security,” the AARP report said.
The report found 3.5 million loans of people age 50 and older were underwater. In that age group, about 600,000 loans were in foreclosure, and 625,000 more loans were at least 90 days delinquent.
Also from 2007 to 2011, more than 1.5 million older Americans lost their homes because of the mortgage crisis. Unemployment among older workers is high, and they have a tougher time finding jobs.
They also have to live with lower wages, increasing property taxes and fixed incomes. But how did older people in this country — once one of the most financially secure because of nearly 80 years of Social Security, solid savings and interest earnings, pensions and about an 80 percent homeownership rate — become so vulnerable?
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COMMENTARY: Declining fortunes affect boomers' futures