Filing for a Denver bankruptcy is never an easy decision, but it can be particularly difficult for a senior citizen.
That’s because while a bankruptcy is no doubt a path to a fresh start, our Denver bankruptcy attorneys understand that new beginnings can be daunting for someone who is older.
While many people who have gone through the process often describe it as a huge weight lifted from their shoulders and a sense of freedom, getting to that point can be difficult.
Most people know that one of the main catalysts for a bankruptcy is credit card debt. For the older generation though, seeking help with this isn’t always easy. They may fear that disclosing this information will mean the end to their financial independence. So they hide it. In the meantime, the debt stacks up even higher.
In fact, senior citizens represent the fastest-growing group of those with credit card debt. Today, the AARP reports that 30 percent of retirees view their debt as a problem. Doing something about it, though, is a different matter.
The first step in kick-starting the process is to have a talk with your elderly relative. It’s going to require sensitivity, patience and some finesse. Here are some tips to make it a bit easier:
1. Be direct. You can say that you understand it may be none of your business, but express your concern. They may dismiss you the first time, but at least this lets them know that you know something may be up.
2. Timing. If you notice a ton of credit card offers, it’s a red flag for high debt. If you see them lying about, ask if they get a lot of these offers. Volunteer to help them with organizing their bill pay – which will help you get a better sense of their real financial situation.
3. Intentions. Make sure your parents know that you are coming from a place of concern about their well-being – not your inheritance. Say that you care about them and you don’t want to see them struggle in their golden years.
4. Don’t automatically imply they’ve done something wrong. Instead, offer to help them come up with workable solutions.
5. Try to keep calm, even if they become agitated or upset. Know that it’s Ok if the first conversation doesn’t go well to pick it up another time.