Boomers talk about their debt

Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a group of boomers about their debt and what, if anything, they are doing about it. Read on to find out their thoughts on how debt is affecting their retirement. Also, if you have talked with boomers and counseled them on their debt please comment below or send us your thoughts at

See also: Seniors and the problem with debt 


About three years ago, I had an illness that required surgery and my husband was involved in a minor car crash. Both of us were in shock when we finally got the hospital bills. We had heard about people getting into trouble because of medical bills, but we didn’t think it would happen to us. We thought we were covered by insurance, but somehow we still ended up with huge bills. We are still struggling to pay them off.

Maureen, 63
Fairhope, Ala.


I would’ve been fine except that my ex-wife had a shoe addiction that got way out of hand. She bought other stuff, too, but shoes were her thing. She must’ve had 100 pair. When we got divorced, I found out she had had some credit cards I didn’t know about. Needless to say, I got stuck paying them. Her lawyer really took me to the cleaners in the divorce, so I must admit I’ve been relying pretty heavily on credit cards since then. It’ll be up to about 50 grand by now.

Gabe, 58
Mount Pleasant, SC


I wish I was doing more about it, but everything’s so expensive these days. Every year things seem to cost more. I have four credit cards that are all maxed out that I just pay the minimum on. But I have pretty good equity in my house and good healthcare and benefits with my job. A few years ago, my daughter got pregnant unexpectedly. She also had some heavy student loan debt, so I’ve been helping her out. Hopefully one day, she’ll return the favor!

Andrea, 55
Urbandale, Iowa


We’re lucky. We have very little debt outside our mortgage. When I started my business, I had to take out a loan from the bank, which I have had to renew twice. But I’ve always been leery of debt. My father really hammered it into me and my brother about the evils of debt. So, I always pay for things in cash when I can — cars and the like. It’s so easy to slip under a mountain of debt. We have some friends who have declared bankruptcy. Not fun. I guess you could say I’m phobic about debt.

Jim, 60
Montgomery Township, NJ

For more from Daniel Williams, see:

Survey: Is a securities license important to you?

Coach, teacher ... annuity advisor?

The whitewater river guide to being a fiduciary

About the Author
Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams, Editor-in-Chief of the new Retirement Advisor magazine (formerly Senior Market Advisor) and Annuities Channel Editor for, is an award-winning journalist and business editor with extensive experience in print, online and trade shows. Prior to joining Senior Market Advisor, Daniel was editor of Real Estate Southern California magazine and West Coast South Bureau Chief of, both are divisions of Real Estate Media. Previously, he covered the commercial real estate beat for the Orange County Business Journal. While there, he received a certificate of merit from SABEW (the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Inc.) for a story on "OCs Cash Economy." A native of the Deep South, Daniel relocated from Los Angeles to Denver with his wife and daughter and can be reached at or on Twitter @LHPro_Annuities.


Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.