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How to Reduce Your Debt Worries Before You Retire

Boomers on their way to retirement are dealing with a lot of conflicting financial responsibilities and interests: helping out adult children and grandchildren, caring for aging parents, saving for retirement, investing in home renovations and covering the costs of travel to name a few. Unfortunately, everything on this list can either lead to debt or make it a struggle to reduce it.

Podcasts, Blogs and Resources

Here are a few valuable podcasts and blogs that can help you examine your debt load and make a plan for your finances.

Boomer & Echo

Here’s a personal finance blog that covers the spectrum, from saving and investing to debt management and spending advice. This post: 8 Habits That are Killing Your Retirement Dreams gets to the heart of financial behaviour that could be sabotaging your retirement.

Overspending, constantly upgrading and mistreating your credit card are some of the issues covered that lead individuals and couples to take on more consumer debt.

Boomer & Echo also weighs in on the popular debt snowball and debt avalanche strategies of repaying personal debt. Using a real-life couple’s debt situation, the post explains how to use these debt repayment methods. It’s a great lesson for anyone looking to reduce their own debt by simply changing their money management behaviour.

Because Money

Easy to listen to, and fairly quick, these podcasts have something for everyone, including discussions about fixing your credit after consumer debt troubles, retirement and savings. They’re on their fifth season, so there are many episodes to choose from.

Retire Happy

Retire happy is just what it sounds like — they’re dedicated to retirement-specific issues and topics to help Canadians figure out what a secure retirement looks like for them (and how to get the most of retirement dollars).

While there’s good information on specific retirement strategies, what’s of interest to us is the posts on debt issues that are relevant to boomers. Check out the one  about how much income is needed in retirement to avoid consumer debt or needing to borrow to make ends meet. These posts are also worth a read: 5 Simple Steps to Get out of Debt and Seniors, Retirement and Debt.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Learning about different retirement options, investment types, and tax options to make the most of your retirement is useful, and the blogs and podcasts above can definitely help.

But the truth is, a great deal of Canadians are forced into retirement rather than retiring according to their own perfect plan or timeline.

That’s why it’s useful to spend some time going over the “what ifs” of retirement (what if we run into health issues, what if we have to help family, what if we lose our jobs, etc.).

Then use the FCAC’s worksheets and calculators to determine what those different scenarios might look like, financially.

You can’t plan for everything, but knowing the types of issues that could increase your debt load or make your finances have to stretch can help you keep your retirement plan flexible and make it a priority. The more you keep your plan front-of-mind, and your debt low, the less worry you’ll have down the road.

The best time to reduce your debt is before you retire. A worry-free retirement plan should consider what type of lifestyle you want to live — and knowing exactly what that might look like, or how to get there with ease, can take some leg work on your part.

Are you reducing debt to make retirement easier? Tell us on Twitter. #LeaveDebtBehind #Boomers #NewYearMotivation

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