Posts Tagged: ‘Center for Retirement Research’

More Americans Facing Retirement with Debt

February 18, 2014 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent study, the majority of people who contribute to retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, have accumulated more debt than retirement savings in recent years. More troubling is the fact that those approaching retirement- between 50 and 65 years old- had a monthly debt obligation in 2010 equivalent to 22% of their earnings, up 69% from 1992, according to the analysis.

A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that the proportion of people in their 60s with debt increased from just under half in 1998 to nearly two-thirds in 2010. Debt as a percentage of assets nearly doubled, from 10% to 18% over that time frame.

Mortgages account for the largest portion of that debt. Older Americans are not only more likely to have mortgages than in previous years; they are also taking longer to pay them off. Some owners enjoy low enough mortgage rates and large enough investment assets to feel comfortable taking out a home equity line of credit to pay for emergency expenses. But in some cases, this is not a good idea. Many financial institutions are encouraging homeowners to look at their houses as a cash machines, with low interest rates. A lot of baby boomers have done this and are now stuck with higher mortgages. To keep debt from derailing your retirement plans, it is important to meet with an experienced financial advisor to manage your post-retirement cash flow.

The typical worker – between 50 and 65 years old- has saved enough for just two years of working income, even though the median post-retirement life span is about 17 years. Balancing debt and saving for retirement starts with carefully measuring what your income and your expenses will be. Many people facing retirement will be on a fixed-income. It is important to make sure that the income streams have the ability to pay your debt.

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