Most people think that their debt should be some sort of burden they carry around with them forever. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It doesn’t have to be like that. My husband and I are a typical family with typical debt – student loans, credit cards and a mortgage. Having debt never really bothered me. I knew eventually it would be gone but I did not really think too much of it. But then I turned 30.
Turning 30 really started to light a fire in me that I wanted to be debt free. I wanted my family to be debt free. My parents are approaching retirement and I started to think that one day (sooner rather than later) I wanted to retire as well. The few hundred a year I was stocking away in my RRSP was not going to be enough. To get serious about my retirement plans I needed to get even more serious about tackling debt. Especially those pesky student loans.
How to Pay off Your Debt Now So You Can Be Ready To Retire
Say goodbye to the excuses
Most people don’t pay off their debt because they make up some excuses. They think they don’t make enough money or that it isn’t the right time. When we decided to buckle down and get some debt paid off. The moment we made the choice, we knew there was no going back.
Get a plan down on paper
The next step to paying off your debt now is to get a plan down on paper. When my husband and I decided to buckle down and pay off debt, our plan looked something like this. Go intense and pay off the school debt, medical debt, credit card debt, and any other consumer debt. After our debt is paid off, we want to focus on saving for retirement.
Up your income
Most families are already scraping by with the budget they have, so trying to pay off debt on a small income is hard. One way to fix that is by upping your income. Getting a side job could be the answer to helping you pay off your debt now.
Stick with it
One thing about getting intense with paying off debt is it can be hard to stick with it. However, we look at the long-term side of things. If we can get this debt paid off now, our retirement is looking so much better. If we spend our younger years taking on more debt, we’ll miss out on those crucial years of saving for retirement.
One of my favorite ways to prepare for retirement is through my advisor at TD. Having a plan for retirement is a good idea. Going through your 20’s and 30’s and even 40’s without some kind of plan is not a good idea. It is never too late to start planning for retirement, we’re just choosing to do it earlier than some. If you are a bit older than me do not worry. The 15 years before you retire is crucial. I know retirement looks different for everyone. You can go into a TD branch for a goals-based assessment and begin your #RetireReady path today.
Whether you’re paying off debt or getting ready for retirement, it is all about preparation and planning. You do not want to wake up one day and realize you don’t have your debt paid off and do not have a penny saved for retirement. I hope you will use my tips and apply some of them to your life.
Paying off debt is never easy. Have you done it? How do you plan on preparing for retirement? Share your tips, goals, and aspirations with us!