So valuable.

Elder Advocates

Updated: March 1, 2012 

CBS-8, San Diego

By Andrew Housser

For many people, as they age, the term “golden years” may be a misnomer. More and more people are struggling with debt, due to the combination of the recent economic recession, lower income as they age, and increasing health costs.

How tight are budgets? Among those older than age 75, nearly 40 percent lived below 200 percent of the poverty line in 2009, with annual income of less than $26,000 for a couple. And older people are going deeper into debt: In 2007, the most recent year with data available, people over age 55 had a median debt level of $43,000. That is 170 percent higher than in 1992. In 2007, families with a head of household age 75 or over spent 7.7 percent of their income paying off debts.

Times are tough: Among those older than…

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