3 Ways to Get Debt Relief in Your Retirement YearsNov 21, 2018
Debt relief is a priority for many Canadians, but for those who are retired; it can be a major concern. With November being national Financial Literacy Month, now may be a good time for retirees and future retirees to hone their money management skills to help them get out from under the burden of carrying debt.
The good news is that there are strategies that can be used to reduce and eventually eliminate debt. Here are 3 debt relief strategies retirees can use to achieve their financial goals:
- Boost your financial literacy
Financial literacy refers to the skills and tools that allow a person to make informed decisions when it comes to money management. It’s not something most seniors were taught in school. For those that are retired and living on a fixed income, learning new skills they didn’t require earlier in their lives may help them manage and eliminate their debt.
Learning new things can be challenging, but it’s worth it to feel more in control of your money and your life. If you’re carrying debt and struggling to achieve your financial goals, you might benefit from resources that allow you to improve your financial literacy.
There are online resources to check out if you wish to explore the DYI debt relief options yourself, or you can always source information from your financial advisor, bank, or local library.
- Talk to a professional
Seniors in debt can feel very alone. They may feel that it’s not appropriate to talk about their financial situation or to share their troubles with others.
But having support is important when it comes to feeling better about your financial situation. Talking to someone who can help you understand your options and how to best achieve your financial goals, can help reduce anxiety and help you get the information you need in order to feel in control.
A Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) is a professional trained to manage debts of all levels at any age. LITs understand the challenges that seniors are facing when it comes to generational debt and they have a wealth of knowledge to share.
In your first meeting, an LIT will hear your story and present you with all options available to you. It can be a relief to simply talk with someone who understands what you’re going through.
For those considering filing for bankruptcy or doing a consumer proposal, LITs are qualified and the only professional in Canada legally allowed to handle bankruptcies and consumer proposals on behalf of their clients.
But that’s not all LITs do. They can also direct you to tools and resources, answer questions, and refer you to other debt relief solutions that will help you. The first meeting is free and you may walk away with a customized plan to help with debt.
- Implement debt relief solutions
There are plenty of online resources like Practical Money Skills Canada or the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s resources on retirement budgeting that provide you with fast access to calculators, tools and financial advice. Find tools you like and use them to find a way to make debt reduction a priority.
The senior years are a time to enjoy life—and that can be hard to do when you’re worried about debt. Employing a few strategies to get debt relief can help you relax and focus on the things that are truly important.