Financial Security at Older Ages

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This paper uses financial data from a major credit bureau of a nationally representative 2 percent random sample from more than 250 million consumer records to examine the financial health and indebtedness of older adults. The data cover the years 2010 through 2019 and follow the same consumers over time. Consumer records include numerous sources of debt and information on total credit available, total balance, amounts past due, debt in collections, and bankruptcies and foreclosures. They also include a nationally recognized credit score that is becoming increasingly utilized by creditors. We supplement these data with the zip-code level information from the American Community Survey on neighborhood characteristics, including racial and ethnic composition, median household income, homeownership, median housing prices, housing cost burdens, and unemployment rates.