High unemployment and underemployment forced one in four Americans to pull money out of a retirement plan to make ends meet.
A separate study on credit-card debt done by Demos, which surveyed some 997 households, warns that middle-income households of those nearing retirement are running up huge credit-card bills.
According to the study, “Older Americans now have higher overall credit-card debt than younger people — a reversal of the trend Demos found in its 2008 survey.”
Those age 50 and over “now have an average combined balance of $8,278, compared with $6,258 for the under-50 population.”
Demos reported that a quarter of those over 50 said a job loss contributed to their credit-card woes.
However, older Americans share one dubious characteristic with younger households — both are raiding retirement accounts, according to the Demos study.
The survey said that 22 percent of older Americans — “more than one in five — used retirement funds to pay down current credit-card debt.”