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article imageSeniors going bankrupt in soaring numbers in Canada

By Owen Weldon     Jun 29, 2015 in World
Judy Southon, from Toronto, said she had her husband had great jobs and raised a son, and they owned a home, but she never thought she would have to declare bankruptcy.
The 67-year-old and her husband Vic ended up deep in debt after a string of bad luck. She said that she was scared and shock. Vic's communications business ended up failing in 2002, and they had to sell their condo. After that, Vic could no longer work because he was diagnosed with dementia. Southon said that she became scared and she realized that her husband wasn't going to be bringing in any more income and everything laid on her shoulders.
Her husband ended up passing away four years ago, and the bills kept on coming in and she just couldn't keep up with them. She eventually filed for personal bankruptcy at the age of 66.
Southon's story is apparently not that uncommon because Canadian seniors are now carrying more debt into their retirement years, and this is leading to more seniors going bankrupt.
The federal Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy said that 10 percent of those declaring bankruptcy in 2014 were seniors (65+) and that is an increase of 20.5 percent from 2010.
One reason why seniors are going into debt is because they are living longer. Many are outliving their savings, according to Nora Spinks, from the non-profit research organization called the Vanier Institute of the Family.
Many seniors' financial plans are also challenged by big health expenses, according to a new research study. More than 1,500 Canadians over the age of 50 took part in a survey conducted by the Ontario Securities Commission. The survey found out that ill health was the most common event derailing financial plans of people 75 or younger.
Spinks said that developing a long-term plan is a good way to guard against financial traps in the later years.
Spinks said that the more people understand about their financial situation in adulthood, the better prepared they will be to handle the future.
More about Seniors, Canada, Canadian seniors, Bankrupt
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