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When you turn retirement age in America, you generally look at slowing down a bit, perhaps stopping work and enjoying some time with the grandkids.  Unfortunately, things change quickly. Sickness and hospital stays can lead to mounting medical bills that become unbearable. This sad situation often leads to retired individuals returning back to the work force in order to make years of payments to doctors, hospitals and other medical services.  Today, I’d like to share with you some helpful tips on how you can prepare for these medical expenses in the future.


About one-half of all adults have one or more chronic health issues.  The likelihood that you will have one of these conditions increases with age.  Almost 70 percent of adults over age 60 have been diagnosed with a physical or mental disability.  With these kinds of odds, you need to make sure that you are preparing now for what may come down the road.


Start now to begin a medical savings plan.  Experts advise us to set aside enough savings to cover 3 to 6 months of living expenses.  You need to figure out how much you spend on an average month, then multiply it by 6 months and this will equal the amount of savings you need to set aside.  Then, devise a plan to get there over the next 5 years. Take that total amount and divide it by 60 months (5 years). This amount will be the amount you need to set aside in a separate savings account to cover these possible medical problems.  


If you are unable to do it over 60 months, then try 120 months or 10 years, but start saving something today.  


You should make a budget and cut out the extra breakfasts you buy on the way to work.  Bring something from home. That alone will save you $25 to $40 per month, or about $480 per year.  Next, reduce your spending in all categories possible and put that savings money into your emergency account.  These include entertainment expenses, eating out and cable packages. Downsize your expenses as much as possible.


If you have a health savings account, consider increasing the amount that you contribute to this account each month.  


If you have done all this, but still cannot handle the medical crises, it is okay.  There is still hope. Medical debt is one of the main reasons for filing personal bankruptcy in the United States.  You can still file bankruptcy to stop the collection of medical debt in order to free yourself of this debt should the unthinkable happen.


If you qualify, Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you with several things.  First, it will stop your creditors from calling you, sending you collection letters and harassing your friends.  Second, it will keep your creditors from repossessing your vehicle or foreclosing on your home. Third, it will stop any lawsuits or judgments that are pending against you.  Fourth, it will allow you to discharge most of your unsecured debts as long as you qualify.


In a Chapter 7, one can discharge or completely wipe out credit cards, medical bills, unsecured loans, etc. without any sort of payment plan.  You must qualify by having a certain threshold income and a close examination of your assets are needed before filing to make sure that they are protected.  Most people do not have a problem with these issues, but you will want to meet with a professional bankruptcy attorney beforehand to make sure that you are safe.


Chapter 13 will allow you to propose a repayment plan for your creditors where you can repay your unsecured debts a percentage of what is owed to them.  That percentage is based upon your income and your assets. If you have higher income or a higher amount of assets, you will pay a higher dividend to your creditors.  If you have lower income and a lower amount of assets, you will pay a lower dividend out.


Please give me a call at 281-847-4345.  I’ll be happy to sit down with you for a free, no obligation consultation to evaluate your situation and inform you of your different options on taking care of your debt through bankruptcy.  You can also send me an email at I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Rod S. Kemsley


Attorneys & Counselors at Law

505 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Suite 400

Houston, Texas 77060

Telephone:  281-847-4345

Facsimile:  281-271-8677


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