One serious danger that doesn't seem to make many peoples list, but maybe should: student loans.
Seniors Social Security Garnished for Student Debts
Ellen Brown, Truth Out, 11 May 2012 (hat tip: NC)
Congress has removed nearly every consumer protection from student loans, including not only standard bankruptcy protections, statutes of limitations and truth in lending requirements, but protection from usury (excessive interest). Lenders can vary the interest rates and some borrowers are reporting rates as high as 18-20 percent. At 20 percent, debt doubles in just three and a half years; and in seven years, it quadruples. Congress has also given lenders draconian collection powers to extort not just the original principal and interest on student loans, but huge sums in penalties, fees and collection costs.The lead in this story is an elderly lady who had a small student debt of $3,500 that she asked for forbearance on and then let it slide. What she did not realize is that that debt would total out to over $17,000 in the next ten years. When Clinton was president (1996) congress voted to allow the garnishing of Social Security to pay government debt. And the rest is history.
Student loans are just a bad deal. The future is too unpredictable to take on the type of risk they involve. People do get sick. Sometimes they cannot find work that pays as well as they anticipated. If the elderly can have their social security garnish, think what happens to the young people who have a really long time to let the bill run up.
I wonder how long before the government starts lending people money to buy lottery tickets?