Even as Baby Boomers focus on preparing for retirement, many are overlooking debt, The Wall Street Journal reports. In fact, Americans' debt is growing as fast as their wealth. For instance, while housing values increased 71% over the past five years, mortgage debt increased 75%. And over the past five years, consumer debt has increased 27%.

And the cost of college is weighing down heavily on both parents and students, with annual borrowing for college rising 191% over the past decade ended in 2005, far outpacing the 66% increase in the cost of private colleges and 72% increase in the cost of public colleges in that time. Surprisingly, children of affluent families are now as likely as those of less-affluent families to borrow for college.

Even those already retired are saddled with debt, with 40% of those age 75 or older owing money in 2004, up from 29% in 2001. The debt of half of these people is their mortgage, with an average balance of $31,000 owed.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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