As time goes on, you’re closer and closer to retiring. You’ve likely been counting down the years in anticipation of this time that you can finally relax and not worry about having to get up and go to work every day and spend hours at a job. Even if you love your job, working for decades on end means you’ve earned a well-deserved vacation from it. Unfortunately, the truth for many people over the age of 55 is that they’re in debt in some form. It might be your mortgage, credit card debt, or student loans you took out for your children. These are threes types of debt you should look into taking care of before you retire.
While it’s great that you helped your children out with their student loans, you need to make sure that your kids are ultimately responsible for taking care of this debt. Since it’s likely you co-signed these loans and don’t want to leave your children out to dry if they can’t afford to pay the entire monthly payments themselves, there are some ways you can work on paying off the loans. Some ways to begin paying them off are paying as soon as they’re due and paying more than the minimum payment, because that will prevent more interest from building up. Pay off the interest as soon as you can, so you don’t accumulate more. Also, once your child gets a job after graduation, have them begin contributing to paying off the loans, even completely taking over the responsibility for payments if they’re financially able to do so.
You can lower your mortgage by paying money toward the principle, but some financial advisors say that mortgage debt isn’t necessarily a bad thing since a house is a solid investment. The housing sector currently has a pretty low interest rate, so you can take advantage of this trend by refinancing your mortgage and reaping benefits from that. If the mortgage is so high that you can’t do anything to lower it to a realistic level, you may need to consider working longer than planned or downsizing your home.
Credit card debt is one of the biggest debts that many families get caught in. First off, avoid charging expenses to a credit card more than you need to. To manage your credit card debt, focus on making more than the minimum monthly payments, which will help you save on interest since it builds up every month. Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first and then work from there. Find out where you can trim spending in your budget to put more money toward fighting debt.