Hadley Malcolm, USA TODAY

(USA Today) — Retirees are bringing unprecedented levels of student loan debt into their later years, according to a new report that shows Baby Boomers may be woefully unprepared for retirement.

The result of helping their kids or grandkids pay for college, those ages 65-74 have nearly six times the amount of education debt now than they did two and a half decades ago, when they had almost none, according to an analysis of government data by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. The burden is leaving them vulnerable to financial hardship because they have less available for saving or covering unexpected expenses, LIMRA data show.

For retirees in this age group, education debt has grown from less than 1% in 1989 to 15% of the overall “installment” debt they have in retirement. LIMRA analyzed data from the government’s triennial Survey of Consumer Finances; the most recent one, out last fall, pertains to 2013.



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