My Money Tree
Credit Cards and Retirement
Going into retirement is one of the best things in your life. This is the time when you get to relax and enjoy a slower pace of life in peace. However, being able to sustain a lifestyle that is comparable to the one that you had before retirement requires some sound planning. This means that you should either own income generating assets, a large 401 (k) payout or a huge pile of cash that will let you live off interests for the rest of your days. Another aspect of retirement involves the issue of debt. Being retired also means that you need to be more risk averse.
This stems from the fact that you may no longer have the ability to generate income to cover for huge debt or losses. Similarly, high interest credit cards with rolled over balances are often sources of snowballing debt. With this, you should try to pay off your outstanding credit card debt before you go into retirement. You could try out balance transfers and transfer some of your credit card debt into credit cards that charge lower or 0% APR for an introductory period. This way, you avoid paying for interests while you pay off your credit card balances.
Another method to convert your high interest debt into lower interest debt is through a debt consolidation loan. This way, all your credit card debt will be paid off by your debt consolidation loan. Ultimately, you will just need to repay the debt consolidation loan without having to worry about multiple credit card repayments. The two methods shown above will only help you reduce the snowballing effect of your credit card debt. However, you will still have to pay off your debt over a period of time. Therefore, the best approach is not to have credit card debt at all. This can be accomplished easily if you set some ground rules for yourself. First, limit yourself to just two credit cards for emergency use. Pay off any outstanding credit card debt from the other cards and cut them up. Make it a point to not use more than 40% of your credit limit.
Overusing your credit card can result to high interest charges and escalating debt. It’s also wise to pay off entire credit card balances without rolling over any amount to the following month. All these good habits in managing credit card debt will definitely help you with your finances through your retirement age.
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