Debt and Your Retirement

How to reduce debt in retirement is a question more and more seniors are asking. Most seniors will see a reduction in their income throughout their retirement years so the last thing they need is to incur more debt.

Those that are long term planners are more likely to be adequately prepared when it’s time for them to retire. They are more likely to retire debt free and have a good financial plan in place.

There are many more people that may have been living pay cheque to pay cheque leaving nothing for an emergency. When unexpected expenses come up they will be more likely to go into debt to meet that expense.  When you are already living pay cheque to pay cheque it doesn’t take a lot to get into debt. It becomes a vicious circle.

When you recognize that you are getting into debt-don’t ignore it! Start making changes right away and if you don’t know how; get some help from a professional in this area. You need to know where you can start to cut back on costs and the sooner the better. Ignoring debt and not opening bills will make a bad situation worse and it’s just the same as burying your head in the sand and will create more stress.

•    First look at your debt and how you got into it acknowledge exactly where you stand then start looking for solutions to reduce it.

•    Look for ways that you can cut back on your expenses. It surprising how much we can save in a month when it’s really necessary. We all like to have treats and feel we deserve them but not at the expense of your peace of mind.

•    Cut back on lattes, meals out, renting videos, cell phone, magazines, newspapers, cable T.V. We may not like it but we can live without them and possibly save a couple of hundred dollars a month.

•    Make a list before you go shopping; check out the specials and coupons.  Prepacked meals are more expensive and usually less healthy. You will get more for your money buying fresh healthy foods. It’s surprising how far a chicken will go with a variety of veggies, rice, or pasta. Leave the cans of soda on the shelf.

•    Use the library for books and videos/DVD’s you can borrow them for free.

•    If you really do need a cell phone consider getting one with a prepaid card to keep your costs down.

•    If you have a car when you take your car out do everything possible in one trip rather than going out a few times a day.

If you go into your golden years debt-free, you are going to be able to manage on less and be able to do more than if you are trying to pay off debt each month. After all retirement is meant to be about being able to do the things that you want to do.

Do your very best to avoid getting into debt in your retirement but if you do, find ways to get out of it as soon as possible. Debt can create a lot of anxiety and stress. Peace of mind is worth a lot so don’t buy what you don’t need!.

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