Letters to the Editor: Crushing student loan debt is a problem for seniors too

To the editor: As columnist Steve Lopez describes the challenges that California’s older residents are facing, including long-term care and medical costs, one factor that can not be ignored is the burden of student loan debt on senior citizens.

In fact, senior citizens are the fastest-growing cohort of student debt borrowers who, due to decades of predatory lending and negatively amortizing interest, have been unable to pay off their loans, rendering them extremely vulnerable to housing and food insecurity.

Looking at California as a microcosm of the entire country, with more than 10,000 people turning 65 every day, this alarming trend should serve as a shot across the bow to special interests and politicians who have kept this predatory debt trap in place for decades.

Lisa Ansell, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: Lopez asked for input. Here’s mine.

I turned 70 last November. What has saved my sanity, through the pandemic closures and the inevitable physical challenges, is that I own five horses, all rescues.

Going up to the stables has many advantages: I connect with the natural world through my horses; I get exercise walking and grooming them (riding is still a possibility, barely); and I have many friends to chat with (the owners of the stables and the other horse owners).

In addition, I have always loved to sing. At 60, I found a singing teacher, and for 10 years, once a week, I sing. It has been a long learning process.

In any week, if I cannot do these activities, I run the risk of depression. I have a major depressive and anxiety disorder. I am on medication, and I talk to a therapist every week.

My advice to others is to manage your physical issues as well as possible, but get out of the house, find something you love to do, and do it.

Anne Beaty, Los Angeles

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