Guardian's 6th Annual Workplace Benefits Study Finds Student Loan Debt Growth Fastest Among Boomers
(BPT) - Student loan debt in the U.S. has been skyrocketing for years, recently topping $1.5 trillion, and now surpassing automobile loans and credit cards to become the largest source of personal debt, aside from mortgages. Millennials bear the brunt of that burden, with 75 percent of the generation carrying some form of college debt. But the problem isn’t contained to the younger generation. According to a new white paper from The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America(R) (Guardian), baby boomers are increasingly feeling the strain of student loan debt — and it’s having a major impact on their overall well-being.
While much of the conversation about student loan debt has centered around millennials, proportionally, boomers have actually experienced a larger share of the nation’s ballooning student debt. Over the last five years, the largest increase in student loan debt in the U.S. is among 60- to 69-year-olds, who have experienced a 72 percent increase in their loan balances, often leaving boomers with no choice but to tap into their retirement savings or Social Security payments to pay off the debt.
Impact on well-being
While many baby boomers took out these student loans for their children and grandchildren, it’s the older generation that is feeling the impact. More than 50 percent of baby boomers say that college debt is negatively impacting their ability to meet financial goals, such as maintaining their lifestyle in retirement or being able to afford adequate health insurance. As a result, some baby boomers have been unable to retire, and more retirees are having their Social Security payments garnished, mostly to pay for student loans they took out for their families...