Christine Tremblay | Journalist
In an ideal world, once retirement is at hand, you can count on a lower financial burden--the kids have left home, your mortgage is paid off--which means you can start thinking of ways to enjoy your new-found freedom. However, if you're facing an unexpected debt, it's never too early to rectify the situation.
- Try to repay your debts before retiring, so you can take full advantage when the time comes. Keep in mind that retirement also usually means a decrease in income!
- Consolidate all your debts into one. This is a good solution for everyone since it makes it easier to manage your repayments.
- Leverage the value of your home to get a lower interest rate. If you've paid off your mortgage already, talk to your financial advisor; you may still be able to get a secured loan against the value of your home.
- Use your credit tools wisely and be wary of the credit cards offered by major chains: their interest rates are often higher than average.
- Plan your retirement, if you haven't already. Meet with a professional, who will determine whether your retirement income will be sufficient to pay your debts and give you the standard of living you want. They can also give you guidance on your savings and credit. It has been shown that meeting with a financial advisor can improve your financial situation in every phase of your life.