Countless Americans face out-of-control debt levels that they cannot repay, and for baby boomer women, this problem can be worse for several reasons.
By: Katherine Pilnick
It’s no secret that most Americans struggle with debt in one form or another. For some, debt is a result of investing for the future in the form of taking on student loans or a mortgage. For others, it’s the inevitable outcome of an unfortunate situation like a costly medical emergency or urgent home repairs. And for others still, it’s simply a lack of budgeting and planning that leads to high credit card debt.
However you found yourself in debt, know that you’re not alone. Countless Americans face out-of-control debt levels that they cannot repay. And for baby boomer women, this problem can be worse for several reasons.
Baby Boomer Women May Carry More Debt
Women in general face additional hurdles when it comes to finance and debt. Particularly, women in the workforce still tend to earn less than their male counterparts but have comparable costs of living. For example, women pay the same educational costs, but the glass ceiling means it takes more time and planning to repay student loans.
Additionally, baby boomers are at an age when they have several financial obligations and are often torn on how to best allocate their limited resources. In addition to typical costs of living, you may be helping to pay for your children’s college educations or helping to support your parents. You may even still be making payments on your mortgage. This array of responsibilities comes at a time when you need to focus more on your own future and put money away for your personal retirement.
The array of obligations can strain your wallet and force you to take on debt, or it may make it overly difficult to pay down old debts.
Debt Reduction Options
You have options if you find yourself struggling with too much debt. Your first step should be to review your financial situation with a professional. A debt counselor can help you go over your spending and saving habits and advise you on how to get back on track. Depending on your situation, he or she could advise one of several options.
If a little extra planning is enough to fix your finances, a counselor can help you develop or revamp a budget. This ensures that your spending doesn’t get out of hand and that your money goes to priority bills.
If you’re struggling with too many bills, your financial adviser may recommend debt consolidation as a means of cutting down your obligations. While debt consolidation won’t change how much you owe, it will allow you to deal with fewer bills each month and comb through a smaller stack of paperwork.
If your money situation is more complicated than that, a financial adviser might suggest debt settlement. This is generally considered the best option for people with too much debt as it actually reduces the amount you owe. Depending on how much you owe and to whom, a successful debt settlement can save you thousands of dollars.
Like many women in your age group – and many Americans in general – you may feel inundated with debt and constant bills. But with the help of professionals, you can get back on track in a short period of time and put your money toward more important prospects like a retirement fund.
About the Author:
Katherine Pilnick is a personal finance writer, blogger and editor for Debt.org, a financial help website.