Eliminate Debt During Your Empty Nest Years

Follow these tips for becoming debt-free.

Being an empty nester can make you feel like a newlywed again. You get to enjoy your home and your spouse while your kids are living independently. You probably see retirement on your radar screen. This is why it is important that you manage your debt well to prepare yourself for living on a fixed income. Here are some tips to achieve a debt-free life as an empty nester.

Consider downsizing
Once your kids move out of the house, you may find that you have more room than you know what to do with. You may also find that it gets more difficult to clean and maintain a large home and yard as you get older. Though it may be hard to let go of a home that holds precious memories, it can be a smart financial move to downsize your home. If you sell your home and use the profit to buy a smaller and less expensive house, you can use the leftover money to bolster your retirement or help you pay down debt.

Use caution with credit
This means that if you can't afford to pay it off, you shouldn't charge it. That way, you can avoid going into debt and continue to save and invest for your retirement years. The more money you contribute to paying off a credit card balance, the less money you are saving and investing for your retirement. Similarly, once you are retired, it can really put a strain on your finances if you have to use your fixed income to pay off credit card purchases. Being a debt-free retiree makes the money you have worked so hard to save and invest last longer. It also means that you can afford to do the things you want to do more easily than if you have a credit card balance looming over you.

Keep your future in mind
It can be hard to squeeze a loan payment into your monthly budget when you are living on a fixed income. If you are still working and need to buy a car or make expensive home repairs, you might want to rework your budget so you can afford the expense without getting a loan. Just like with a credit card balance, it can be hard to squeeze your loan payments into your income when you are living on a fixed income. If you feel you cannot afford these expenses without a loan, make a solid plan to repay your debts before you retire.

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