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More seniors spending golden years in bankruptcy

By Tavia Grant
Globe and Mail Update
The share of insolvent consumers among people aged 55 and older has more than quadrupled in the past decade.

Blame dwindling pensions, the rising cost of living or the rocky stock market – a growing number of seniors are insolvent.

The share of insolvent consumers among people aged 55 and older has more than quadrupled [http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/bsf-osb.nsf/eng/br02508.html] in the past decade, hitting 20.6 per cent last year, the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada said Tuesday. It’s the steepest increase among all age groups.

People in the 45-to-54 category are also filing more. Their portion more than doubled, to 24.7 per cent last year. Meantime, the proportion of younger folks, under 34, who are filing for insolvency has steadily fallen through the decade.

The office compiled the findings based on annual numbers between 1989 and 2009. The annual figure for 2010 is not yet available.

Consumer bankruptcies swelled through the recession, and have since subsided. The total number of insolvencies in August was 12.4 per cent lower than the same month a year earlier, with a drop in both business and consumer insolvencies.