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Debt Burden Ensnares Older Canadians

October 11, 2013

By Margaret H. Johnson

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun about older Canadians slipping deeper into debt should not come as a surprise. As a retired colleague of mine, the former Director of Debtor Assistance in British Columbia, Douglas Welbanks, said, “The baby boomers invented debt.”

He quickly admitted this was not exactly true, “It was the baby boomer era in which consumer credit took off – beginning with finance companies and the poor in the 1960s, evolving to retail merchant and bank credit cards in the 1970s. By 1990 the middle class was pretty much drifting into trouble with over $100 billion in consumer debt with more or less universal bank credit cards like Visa and Mastercard.”

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