According to the latest report, Americans are running a massive debt burden during the final phase of their working years. Those who are planning to enjoy their post retirement life need to lower the debt burden. Near about 28% retirees turn to the Association of Independent Consumer Counseling Agencies for financial guidance. Studies reveal that a large percentage of senior citizens hold a massive amount of credit card debt, mortgage obligations as well as pending student loan payments.
Well, you’ll be surprised to find that there is a common myth surrounding retirement. Most of the people assume that retirement means being debt free. If you’ve overwhelming debt, then it’s a clear indication of delaying retirement for an indefinite period. Who doesn’t want to enjoy his post retirement life? Retirement is actually a period of ease, so entering this stage with debts can be intimidating. Paying off debt is one of the essential steps while planning for retirement.
4 Steps to achieve a debt free retirement life to avoid financial stress:
- Pay more on the mortgage. Use an amortization calculator to pay off the mortgage before your retirement. Supposedly, if you plan to retire in 15 years with 30-year mortgage, start making an additional principal payment per month. This can help you pay off the debt before you retire. If you keep your mortgage at a 30-year fixed loan, you’re not required to make extra payment.
- Move to a small apartment. You may often find retired people moving to a smaller apartment. In this slow real estate market, most of the people failed to get the right price; hence, they didn’t sell their home. During the housing crisis, the lender tightened the lending standard, so the qualified buyers were unable to obtain the loan. As these people couldn’t sell their homes, so it wasn’t possible for them to buy a new one. Once the market recovers, make sure you sell the home. Selling the home can be beneficial, especially if you’re unable to pay off the loan.
- Increase your income. Even after cutting your expenses, if you still find it difficult to pay off your debt, find ways to make some more money. Start working little hard if you plan for a post retirement debt free life. Use your second job income to lower your financial obligation. Plan for a home based business or work as a freelancer to make some more money during your spare time.
- Avoid borrowing from 401k plan. If you’re planning to dig your money from retirement account, then it’s not a good option. You may have adequate retirement savings, but it may not be enough to manage your expenses post retirement. Exhausting your retirement savings can be a major reason for messing your financial situation. Try to pay off your debts before retirement.
Therefore, you need to keep the above mentioned points in mind if you’re planning a debt free retirement.