CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The amount of seniors 65 or older going into bankruptcy has tripled since 1991.

  • More people 65 and older are going bankrupt
  • Reports say some seniors spend about 75 percent of social security on health care
  • Financial advisers say people should secure income in retirement out of the stock market

That’s according to a new report from the Consumer Bankruptcy Project.

“I’m seeing a larger number of citizens at least inquiring about bankruptcy,” bankruptcy attorney with the Layton Law Firm Chris Layton said. “What I’m seeing is a lot of outstanding medical bills.”

According to the New York Times, Medicare beneficiaries 85 and older spend about 75 percent of their Social Security on out of pocket health care costs.

Layton believes the amount of seniors actually filing for bankruptcy is probably much less than the number needing help.

Financial adviser Jim Heafner of Heafner Financial Solutions says people need to create secure income in retirement outside of the stock market.

A bear market at the start of retirement can lock in tremendous losses in savings.

“What hurts is when you have a decline [in your savings] and you must pay money out to pay your bills,” Heafner said. “That’s when you lose the game. When you pull money out of a money market account when its down, then it’s all over.”

Heafner said for many people, the highest paying, risk-free asset in retirement is annuities.

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