5 Tips For Talking To Elderly Parents About Credit Card Debt

For many of us, this day is coming. At some point, we’ll have to address the credit-card debt that our parents hold. Creditcards.com has a how-to piece, which offers some advice on how to approach the situation. Seniors, 65 and over, represent the fastest-growing group when it comes to rising debt. Better to tackle the conversation earlier rather than later, I say. From the story:For some senior citizens, credit card debt is a way of life that gets more difficult to handle as they get older. Julie Murphy Casserly of Chicago spent her whole life watching her parents struggle to pay the bills. By the time she was old enough to take a peek at their financial issues, they had $72,000 in consumer debt, including unpaid credit cards and old orthodontia bills. Even after Murphy Casserly, the author of ‘The Emotion Behind Money: Building Wealth From the Inside Out,’ helped her parents tap a home equity line of credit to pay off debt, bad health and poor money management skills soon created another mountain of debt in its place. ‘It was a chronic problem,’ she says.Many older people, even frugal ones, are simply unable to make ends meet on a pension or Social Security check, so they turn to plastic to pay for daily living expenses, like groceries and gas. Other seniors plunge into debt when their health takes a turn for the worse. A stroke, a heart attack or a bout with cancer can create thousands of dollars in medical bills, which elderly patients may be pressured to pay with a credit card.By the way, the kids might have something to do with elderly parents — and rising debt levels. I wrote a story last year about children moving back in with their parents. You can read that story here link.Read the rest of today’s story here link.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by . Bookmark the permalink.

0 thoughts on “5 Tips For Talking To Elderly Parents About Credit Card Debt

  1. One of the reasons seniors are experiencing high credit card debt is their ADULT children moving back home with their own kids and looking for hand-outs from their elderly parents until they can ‘get back on their feet’. We see it accelerating in our neighborhood. Sons and daughters returning from the armed service, foreclosed on and laid-off. This needs to be addressed in another article. It’s just not all the seniors fault that their cards are rising. The seniors in our neighborhood feel it is their parental duty to provide for their children no matter what age they are. It’s sad because these seniors are having a time feeding themselves and have to rely on Meals on Wheels and will skip their medicine. CiifIcare

  2. As a kid who has not returned home, I hadn’t thought of that, CifIcare. I think that I have pointed to a story like that before, too. My memory is failing with age.Let me see if I can find it.

  3. CifIcare, I have edited today’s story. I had written about that before — children draining their parents.

  4. To the first poster, I remember when I was growing up, decades ago, no one lived at home past 20. However, in those days unions were all over America, college degree was not needed, more civilzed society, etc. So before we start calling 20-somethings living at home ‘losers’, etc we need to look at what this country has done to working people and their living standards all in the name of ‘progress’?!?! And to whom that progress benefits its not usually those that use a time card to get paid. Not to mention between immigration, globalization and American’s obsession with procreation the problems and job availability will only get worse.

  5. Your point is well taken Daniel and I agree times have changed from the 1970’s when jobs were plentiful and a college education wasn’t a priority. I went to a business college for two years after high school and moved right into a court stenographer’s job and an accounting position then with no problem. Today it wouldn’t have been that easy. I am not calling all 20-somethings living or coming back home losers. Some have to be there for their own health reasons or there to help out their parents because they are aging and desperately need their help. I am talking about the 20, 30, 40, and in some cases 50 year olds that are coming back home because they see living with their parents as a way to escape responsibility for themselves. Perhaps I happen to live on a very different street here in the U.S. where we as neighbors are assisting the seniors with their food, medicine and other needs because they refuse to make the ‘losers’ go out and atleast delivery pizza to help take care of themselves and contribute to the household at large. It’s snowing here and would you believe a 70+ year old neighbor is out shoveling and his 30 year old is in the house peeping out at him. Now the 70 year old would argue with me if I said anything lol, so I just leave that for the men in the neighborhood who do go over and snowblow for him when they aren’t working. The 30 year old son is able-bodied mind you. DH and I have 3 sons. 2 came back home for a little while but found living under our roof was more strict than the armed services!! :) If anything happened to either one of our sons we would be there for them. However, they DO KNOW we can’t support them and we are fortunate enough to have them taking care of their own needs for now atleast.Thanks for your insight Daniel because your point is like I said, well taken!!! This country has failed the youth in many ways. Cutbacks in education leads the list.CiifIcare

  6. My Dad told me that he plans on spending everything before he dies, and leaving me a big credit card bill. I told him to go for it because credit card debt is not inheritable. So no, I’m not going to have to deal with my parents’ credit card debt :)

  7. I will confess I moved back home for a while in my 30s to ‘get back on my feet’. But during that time I had a job, paid for my own food and towards groceries, and shoveled the driveway when it needed it. But it was a last resort option and lasted less than a year. I realized that while I was saving myself financially, my social life and sanity were taking a toll.

  8. ‘I realized that while I was saving myself financially, my social life and sanity were taking a toll.’I bet! Especially the social life.

  9. I’ll bet those orthodontia bills that Julie Casserly found her parents still carrying were not from fixing their own teeth but rather hers or her siblings. The conditions that ‘Daniel’ mentions, steady cost of living inflation without rising wages and salaries, combined with the loss of so many mid-level jobs, left many middle class adults of the recent past era trying to still give their kids what they had expected to be able to provide, often only to have the rug (their earnings) pulled out from underneath them.

  10. I've been focused on getting readers to help seniors plan for the future from a physical and emotional perspective. This article reminds me that finances will also play a big part in quality of life.Other people may be focusing on the things they can see, too (like Mom letting the dishes pile up), and not considering things that aren't readily apparent (like debt). Thanks for the reminder to broaden the focus.

5 Tips For Talking To Elderly Parents About Credit Card Debt

For many of us, this day is coming. At some point, we’ll have to address the credit-card debt that our parents hold. Creditcards.com has a how-to piece, which offers some advice on how to approach the situation. Seniors, 65 and over, represent the fastest-growing group when it comes to rising debt. Better to tackle the conversation earlier rather than later, I say. From the story:For some senior citizens, credit card debt is a way of life that gets more difficult to handle as they get older. Julie Murphy Casserly of Chicago spent her whole life watching her parents struggle to pay the bills. By the time she was old enough to take a peek at their financial issues, they had $72,000 in consumer debt, including unpaid credit cards and old orthodontia bills. Even after Murphy Casserly, the author of ‘The Emotion Behind Money: Building Wealth From the Inside Out,’ helped her parents tap a home equity line of credit to pay off debt, bad health and poor money management skills soon created another mountain of debt in its place. ‘It was a chronic problem,’ she says.Many older people, even frugal ones, are simply unable to make ends meet on a pension or Social Security check, so they turn to plastic to pay for daily living expenses, like groceries and gas. Other seniors plunge into debt when their health takes a turn for the worse. A stroke, a heart attack or a bout with cancer can create thousands of dollars in medical bills, which elderly patients may be pressured to pay with a credit card.By the way, the kids might have something to do with elderly parents — and rising debt levels. I wrote a story last year about children moving back in with their parents. You can read that story here link.Read the rest of today’s story here link.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by . Bookmark the permalink.

0 thoughts on “5 Tips For Talking To Elderly Parents About Credit Card Debt

  1. One of the reasons seniors are experiencing high credit card debt is their ADULT children moving back home with their own kids and looking for hand-outs from their elderly parents until they can ‘get back on their feet’. We see it accelerating in our neighborhood. Sons and daughters returning from the armed service, foreclosed on and laid-off. This needs to be addressed in another article. It’s just not all the seniors fault that their cards are rising. The seniors in our neighborhood feel it is their parental duty to provide for their children no matter what age they are. It’s sad because these seniors are having a time feeding themselves and have to rely on Meals on Wheels and will skip their medicine. CiifIcare

  2. As a kid who has not returned home, I hadn’t thought of that, CifIcare. I think that I have pointed to a story like that before, too. My memory is failing with age.Let me see if I can find it.

  3. To the first poster, I remember when I was growing up, decades ago, no one lived at home past 20. However, in those days unions were all over America, college degree was not needed, more civilzed society, etc. So before we start calling 20-somethings living at home ‘losers’, etc we need to look at what this country has done to working people and their living standards all in the name of ‘progress’?!?! And to whom that progress benefits its not usually those that use a time card to get paid. Not to mention between immigration, globalization and American’s obsession with procreation the problems and job availability will only get worse.

  4. Your point is well taken Daniel and I agree times have changed from the 1970’s when jobs were plentiful and a college education wasn’t a priority. I went to a business college for two years after high school and moved right into a court stenographer’s job and an accounting position then with no problem. Today it wouldn’t have been that easy. I am not calling all 20-somethings living or coming back home losers. Some have to be there for their own health reasons or there to help out their parents because they are aging and desperately need their help. I am talking about the 20, 30, 40, and in some cases 50 year olds that are coming back home because they see living with their parents as a way to escape responsibility for themselves. Perhaps I happen to live on a very different street here in the U.S. where we as neighbors are assisting the seniors with their food, medicine and other needs because they refuse to make the ‘losers’ go out and atleast delivery pizza to help take care of themselves and contribute to the household at large. It’s snowing here and would you believe a 70+ year old neighbor is out shoveling and his 30 year old is in the house peeping out at him. Now the 70 year old would argue with me if I said anything lol, so I just leave that for the men in the neighborhood who do go over and snowblow for him when they aren’t working. The 30 year old son is able-bodied mind you. DH and I have 3 sons. 2 came back home for a little while but found living under our roof was more strict than the armed services!! :) If anything happened to either one of our sons we would be there for them. However, they DO KNOW we can’t support them and we are fortunate enough to have them taking care of their own needs for now atleast.Thanks for your insight Daniel because your point is like I said, well taken!!! This country has failed the youth in many ways. Cutbacks in education leads the list.CiifIcare

  5. My Dad told me that he plans on spending everything before he dies, and leaving me a big credit card bill. I told him to go for it because credit card debt is not inheritable. So no, I’m not going to have to deal with my parents’ credit card debt :)

  6. I will confess I moved back home for a while in my 30s to ‘get back on my feet’. But during that time I had a job, paid for my own food and towards groceries, and shoveled the driveway when it needed it. But it was a last resort option and lasted less than a year. I realized that while I was saving myself financially, my social life and sanity were taking a toll.

  7. ‘I realized that while I was saving myself financially, my social life and sanity were taking a toll.’I bet! Especially the social life.

  8. I’ll bet those orthodontia bills that Julie Casserly found her parents still carrying were not from fixing their own teeth but rather hers or her siblings. The conditions that ‘Daniel’ mentions, steady cost of living inflation without rising wages and salaries, combined with the loss of so many mid-level jobs, left many middle class adults of the recent past era trying to still give their kids what they had expected to be able to provide, often only to have the rug (their earnings) pulled out from underneath them.

  9. I've been focused on getting readers to help seniors plan for the future from a physical and emotional perspective. This article reminds me that finances will also play a big part in quality of life.Other people may be focusing on the things they can see, too (like Mom letting the dishes pile up), and not considering things that aren't readily apparent (like debt). Thanks for the reminder to broaden the focus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *