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#FLM2017: Tips for Staying Debt-Free in a Happy Retirement

When’s the last time you thought about retirement savings and the possibility of debt?

Planning for retirement is more than picking an age and letting your savings grow over time. 60 per cent of Canadians are saving for retirement, but the question is: are you asking the right questions to ensure you have a happy retirement?

In fact, there’s a clear knowledge gap when it comes to financial literacy and retirement. While six out of ten Canadians are saving, the same study found that just four out of ten had some idea of how much money they need to retire, and one-third had no idea at all.

This November is Financial Literacy Month, and if you’re working and putting money into an RRSP, TFSA, or another investment for retirement, it’s a great time to do a check-up.

Know what you need, and how you intend to live in retirement.

Retiring isn’t just packing up a box then going home forever. The ideal retirement for you might look a lot different then what others plan and do!

As financial advisor Annie Kvick puts it on Money Coaches Canada, retirement is a “fresh chapter” to explore starting a business or learning new skills. Giving up the old idea of retirement can help you plan better financially, and actually save for what you intend to do.

Save for 100, not 80.

Canadians need to face the reality that they will live longer. Half of babies born in 2007 are predicted to still be alive at age 104 according to the World Economic Forum. This health is astounding, and your finances should keep up.

Paying off debt before retiring is very important.

Explore your options by visiting with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT), who provides help for bankruptcy, consumer proposals, and other less formal solutions. Making a plan to pay off debt before ending a steady income stream will ensure you’re not scrambling early in your retirement years.

There’s also no shame in working during retirement! Plunged In Debt has a great article on this, explaining the process of going back to work.

All this planning can keep you debt-free for a longer, happier retirement. Making some time to reassess your savings, and planning how you’ll spend your golden years is a solid use of #FLM2017.

Have suggestions for retirement planning? Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtags #DebtSolutions and #FLM2017.

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