The retirement years are supposed to be the golden years, the years you can spend your days doing exactly what you want. They are not meant to be the years when you worry most about money. However, as our economy transitions, seniors are facing many of the same financial challenges as those in non-retirement years. The term ‘golden’ isn’t exactly what most might use to describe their situations.
In 2015, Equifax conducted a study which found that non-mortgage debt held by Canadians aged 65 and over averaged $15,244. That was below the Canadian average of $22,113, but those over 65 posted the highest percentage growth – meaning seniors are amassing debt at an alarming rate compared to younger Canadians.
Why is this the case? There are numerous factors: inflation, the desire to stay in their homes after retirement, helping their children, rising healthcare costs, assisted living costs, etc. Furthermore, many Canadian seniors are not entering retirement debt free, and thus the costs of that debt are following them into retirement.
For those on fixed incomes, this can quickly become a serious issue. Many Canadian seniors struggle to balance debt repayment with rising living and medical expenses.
Not only are these financial stressors hard on your wallet, they may also be detrimental to your health. According to a recent CBC News article, financial stress, specifically stress created from debt, can have a significant effect on the well-being of seniors struggling with health issues: “We know that financial stress … can exacerbate problems with dementia,’ said Lynda Colley, chair of the Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. ‘Financial pressures put on seniors battling debt and ongoing health issues can be immense.’”
No matter your age, debt can be a troublesome monkey on your back. However, as you age and your finances become strained, debt may feel more stressful for you than the average person.
Don’t wait until things get worse. If you’re retired, but concerned about your finances, there is nothing wrong with seeking help to ease the burden. If you’re nearing retirement, now is the time to get the debt help that will allow you to enjoy your retirement stress-free.
At Spergel, we have the solutions that will help you eliminate some of the financial worry that is keeping you up at night.
Call us today, toll free, at 310-4321.