What are my Debt options if I am retiring soon or already retired?

March 2, 2016

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Question: A recent study confirmed that well over 80% of Canadians facing retirement have not saved enough to maintain the standard of living they expect. Many will spend what is supposed to be their “golden years” in relative poverty according to Statistics Canada figures and the number of seniors in that group is growing at an alarming rate.  Instead of saving for retirement, many are trying to pay down debt and find they are spinning their wheels.  Carrying too much debt is a burden. What debt options are available to improve this situation?

What are my Debt options if I am retiring soon or already retired

Answer: We have been aware for some time that the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security and other government pension funds should not be relied upon to fund 100% of our retirement expenses.  Government pension funds are there, and will hopefully continue to be available in the future, to supplement retirement savings. They are intended to be a crutch and not a full support system.

One thing we know for certain is that housing, food, transportation and health care expenses will continue to rise.  Life is expensive as we all know. Many will take on debt to help pay for living expenses while they are working. Once the income drops in retirement, the adjustment can be difficult and the debt is often no longer manageable.  It is therefore important that each one of us takes a hard look at our financial situation and decide if we need help. If so, asking for help sooner rather than later will ease the burden and avoid unnecessary debt stress.

It’s not always easy to figure things out on your own.  When you are carrying too much debt, you may speak with someone you trust, someone who will keep it to themselves. Your spouse or a friend is a good place to start or you may ask your banker, your accountant or perhaps your lawyer for advice if your creditors have begun to take action or make claims against you. You should also speak with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (“LIT”). LITs are the only professionals in Canada licensed to file consumer proposals and when needed, are able to provide bankruptcy services as well.  We will lend an ear to your situation and explain the options which may include other arrangements such as consolidation loans and refinancing.

Most LITs are also professional accountants. We make sure the numbers make sense.  We will help you build a budget so that you understand what it costs you to maintain your standard of living now and into retirement. We understand how to deal with all types of debt including income taxes, credit cards, bank and finance company loans and mortgages.  We have the tools to provide you with the protection you need to deal with excessive debt. Don’t spend your retirement worrying about debt. You deserve better than that.

At Doyle Salewski, we can help you solve your debt and budgeting crises, using our proven expertise and experience to achieve financial freedom and peace of mind. Contact us today for a free consultation, either through our Ottawa headquarters, 613-237-5555, or our fully bilingual Gatineau office, 819-776-7777. Email: [email protected].

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