Regardless of employment status, the recession was painful experience for most Americans 50 and over, and many have yet to recover. During the three years prior to October 2010, nearly one third (31.6 percent) saw their homes decline substantially in value a sizable proportion fell behind on credit cards payments or accumulated more credit car debt.
One in seven had trouble paying the rent or mortgage, and one in eight lost their health insurance. Very few, fortunately, had filed for bankruptcy (3.6 percent), been forced to sell there home (1.4 percent), or lost their home to foreclosure, although the impact on those who did should not be minimized moreover, these percentages could increase as full impact of the recession and job loss is felt those who experienced these hardships. So what do people do when they find it tough to make ends meet? First, they spend less. Of those who reported having trouble making ends meet, more cut back on expenses such things as dining out, movies, or other non-necessities, cutting back is not so worrisome. But some cutbacks, such as for health insurance or medical care, have potential adverse consequences and are particularly troubling responses to money shortages. One out of eight persons had dropped their health insurance in the previous three years, and one out of two had to put off medical or dental care or were not taking their medication on schedule because they had difficulty making ends meet. Withdrawing money from a savings account was another common response among those who had trouble making end meet, and it is also not necessarily anything to worry about; savings are, after all, there to be used when needed. But if savings are exhausted then people become increasingly reliant on credit cards, loans, or other debt, as it has happened for some, getting back on track may prove difficult.