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Baby boomers are easing into retirement, but some may find their golden years are haunted by student loan debt that could follow them until they die.

It’s not their children’s debt, however. It’s their own. Many boomers returned to graduate school during the recession to bolster their skills, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education. Student loan debt is actually growing fastest among people over 60, the report notes. More than 2 million Americans over 60 owe student loan debt, with the average balance standing at about $19,500, up from just under $11,000 in 2005, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

life_guide_retirementIn all, that amounts to $44 billion in student loan debt carried by people who often qualify for senior discounts. Older students have seen their debt loads mushroom not only because of rising tuition, but because they often take more time to complete a degree while juggling full-time jobs and family life. The bottom line, financial expert Mark Kantrowitz tells the publication, is that older students should avoid debt. “They should not borrow more than they can afford to repay in 10 years or by the time they retire, whichever comes first,” he said.

Source: msnmoney.com | april 16, 2013 | http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=6fe668fd-0119-4caa-8f4e-661a9da41a58

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