Facing Retirement With Debt
Retirement Under A Cloud Of Debt?
If you have the retirement itch but are drowning in debt, your dreamy retirement years may not be so dreamy. Why bother retiring if you are in financial lockdown? Once you retire your main source of income dries up. Debt with limited cash flow is boring, tedious and tiresome. Retiring with too much debt guarantees off the chart personal misery…you will not be able to do any of the things you enjoy doing.
Delay, Delay, Delay
Delaying your retirement until you are in better financial shape is not the end of the world; in fact, it is in your best financial interest. Retiring with enough money to live out your dream retirement may not require much financial tweaking. You are cheating yourself if you retire without analyzing your personal financial situation and money habits.
1st – What Kind Of Debt?
Retiring completely debt free is not always attainable. Manageable debt is not as troublesome in retirement as uncontrollable debt. If you are buried in credit card debt, auto loans and mortgage debt you are carrying an overwhelming amount of debt. Trim it back. If you retire with that much debt the money saved up in your 401(k) account will be used for paying off pre-retirement debt instead of retirement living expenses.
Tighten your belt. Change your money habits before retiring. Avoid charging up credit card balances if you cannot pay them off monthly, pay extra money on your mortgage, cut back on all frivolous spending (café lattes, expensive dinners and lunches, etc.).
2nd – Will Available Money Cover It?
You’re not worried about retiring with debt; you plan on working part-time after you retire. That is a great plan if you have a job lined up, stay healthy and the income from that job is enough to pay for your living expenses, retirement fun and debt.
You feel even more confident about retiring with debt because in addition to getting a part-time job you will also be collecting Social Security. Another great plan; however, remember that your expenses will not stop and some may increase. In retirement you will still have unexpected expenses (car repairs, home appliances, etc.). You will have new expenses (healthcare). Are you sure your Social Security check will be enough to cover all of your expenses?
Retire For The Right Reason
What’s the rush? Why are you in a hurry to retire until your are financially stable? If you are tired of your job maybe you just need a new job, not a retirement party.