It’s conceivable that many Ontarians on the brink of retirement probably have a fantasy of what their retirement lifestyle will be like. Many dream of retirement years spent sipping frosty margaritas on the white sandy beaches of a tropical retreat or in the wilds of Florida. Others look forward to a relaxing cruise on calm seas as they explore the islands of the Caribbean.
The good news? Those dreams could easily be your reality, especially if you’re prepared to take some proactive steps right now to ensure fantasy translates smoothly into reality. Let me show you how…
Moving Gracefully Into Retirement
The main reasons the retirement years go awry for some people is they failed to pre-plan that time of their lives. So, by pre-planning and anticipating every possible eventuality, you could avoid unanticipated family pressures and ensure you have reduced or eliminated all of your consumer debt BEFORE you retire. Pre-planning is the key to retirement success. And it can begin at any age.
There are two types of retirees that you don’t want to be like:
- Debt-Laden Retirees: This group enters their retirement years burdened by debt, including expensive car loans, sizable monthly mortgage payments and debilitating credit card debt. They are lugging a debt monkey on their backs guaranteed to cripple their chances of enjoying their retirement years in comfort. The Debt-Laden Retiree may be challenged by trying to juggle that “must have” cottage, a daughter’s opulent wedding and other expensive purchases. This group lives on what it can afford to finance, not on what it can afford to buy. Studies done by our major banking institutions indicate that up to 73% of Boomers carry serious debt-loads into retirement with them. I want you to be part of the other 27% with no debt.
- Debt-Accumulators: This second group enters retirement relatively debt-free (Normally due to prudent financial planning over many decades while working) but begins to accumulate debt as soon as their previous income level drops off. Financially and emotionally dependent on a higher standard of living, Debt-Accumulators are constantly accessing credit cards, lines of credit and their RRSP reserves to maintain that previous lifestyle. The result is the same as our first group: Financial hardship and too much debt to handle comfortably. That’s because, as those same bank studies, suggest, one in five Baby Boomers hasn’t saved enough cash by the time retirement hits. But you’re not going to fall into that trap!
The third major danger zone is that of Inflicted Debt. Sounds quite ominous, doesn’t it? And it is. Both of the above listed groups may also be facing the spectre of inflicted debt, which is the high costs associated with the long-term care requirements of an aging relative, the pressure of an unexpected early retirement or lay-off, or a boomerang child who returns to the nest after divorce. In other words, events or scenarios that happen unexpectedly – often there is no way to plan for such situations, unless you are debt-free and can handle the additional burden with ease.
Since you’ve taken the time to read this blog posting today,
I’m pretty confident you don’t recognize your situation in the scenarios above, so congratulations! You’ve planned carefully for your retirement and stashed away enough cash for emergencies and normal daily living. My hope is you will be able to enjoy many years of a work-free lifestyle.
But just in case you do still have a bit of lingering debt, and want to ensure it goes away before you retire (or, more than likely, you know someone – possibly a relative or friend – who fits into one of the categories above), I have some helpful suggestions on how you (or they) can get on-track in short order:
Excessive debt is like a noose around our necks. It tightens and tightens until you can no longer breathe. Why wait until then to call in a specialist such as a Certified Insolvency Restructuring Professional, otherwise known as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Best of all, bankruptcy is NOT what I’m recommending you explore, because bankruptcy is really a last resort for someone in debt, especially someone who has accumulated assets such as a matrimonial home, vehicles, investments and retirement savings. It’s the final option when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
As an alternative to Bankruptcy, a Trustee can also offer you a solution known as a Consumer Proposal. This is an arrangement between you and your creditors. You can end up paying back only a portion of your debts, extend the length of time it takes to pay off your debt and stop additional interest from being accrued once you file with a Trustee. And the best news of all? You can file a Consumer Proposal and retain all of those important assets you’ve worked so hard, for so many years, to accumulate.
Whittling down some of the debt (while disposing of the rest of it) is what a Consumer Proposal does so well. And the Proposal reduces the burden of your debt load into one manageable monthly payment; allowing you to regain control over your financial life.
The goal here is to do the very best you can under the circumstances you’re encountering, not the worst you can. A debt proposal allows you to do just that – meet your debt obligations fairly, according to your circumstances. The result is an organized, legal end to any financial pressures you may be experiencing.
Enjoy Your Retirement Years
A consumer proposal will give you peace of mind, increased financial stability and retirement freedom. Rather than sitting in Ontario worrying about your rising debt load you can, instead, relax in a warmer climate – sitting back and enjoying the gentle sound of waves racing up the beach beside your winter condominium. Or perhaps it’s the blast of your cruise ship’s horn as it disembarks for a Caribbean port of call.
Thanks to good, solid pre-planning and a defined and realistic strategy for the kind of lifestyle you need, you can live the retirement you’ve always dreamed about. And by accessing an innovative financial solution, such as a Consumer Proposal, with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee in Toronto at one of our many offices, you can cut your debt load down quickly and easily.