Debt and Debt Management among Older Adults

Published: 2013
Project ID: UM13-09


In recent decades, financial markets have become increasingly accessible to individual consumers, as new products and financial services have come on the market. Nonetheless, many of these products are complex and difficult to grasp, especially for financially unsophisticated individuals. Of particular interest in the present economic environment is access to credit. This project will analyze older individuals’ debt and debt management practices using a module that we designed and fielded on credit card knowledge and behavior. We implemented the module in the 2010 Health and Retirement Study (HRS). We will examine the extent to which poor debt habits may have short run as well as long run consequences, shaping lifetime wealth sufficiency and retirement security.