Mounting Debt Threatens a Comfortable Retirement
According to recent statistics, mounting debt levels are painting a worrisome picture for a comfortable senior retirement. Over the past two decades, the median debt of the average 70-year old has increased by over 100 percent. Increasingly, over a quarter of 70-year olds still have mortgage debt. This figure represents an increase of more than 110 percent in the past 20 years. Also, taking out a reverse mortgage is on the increase for those who have paid off their mortgages in order to meet today’s living expenses and bills.
There are a number of factors increasing debt levels of senior citizens. Executive branch leaders and federal lawmakers have initiated laws to slow the growth of social security benefits and Medicare due to the financial cliff. These enactments lessen the purchasing power of seniors and cause them to be more dependent on credit. Some cannot even afford the co-payments of Medicare and use their credit for medical expenses. Many senior citizens also use their retirement accounts to pay for mounting credit bills. Others have to rely on either their children or grandchildren to make ends meet. Unless many seniors and baby boomers act now, their retirement years will reflect a lower standard of living.
Credit and Debt Counseling Agencies
Often, getting out of debt can be an uphill battle without the help of a professional like Credit Guard. If you’re a senior and struggling with your financial obligations, non-profit credit and debt counseling agencies can help you with debt relief. Don’t worry about the costs of these services; most charge very low fees or no fees at all. With assistance with these types of agencies, you’ll get a certified financial counselor who will evaluate your financial circumstances and help you craft a household budget to help you pay the bills on time and to reduce your debt. These agencies also offer debt-fighting tools, such as workshops on money management and classes on credit management.
If necessary, your financial counselor may suggest enrolling in a debt consolidation plan. With a debt consolidation plan, your unsecured debts like medical bills can be consolidated into one lump sum. This way, you’ll only have one monthly to make. Your financial counselor will also work with your creditors to eliminate any late fees and get lower interest rates. You make one monthly payment to the agency, and your payment is divided amongst your creditors. Over time, you’ll be able to pay off your debts and have more money for a comfortable retirement.