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Retirees facing higher debt levels in retirement

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If you are like a lot of Baby Boomers, you may be putting off retirement for a few years. 

The number of working people 65 and older who have chosen to remain in the workforce continues to grow.  A USA Today article cites a growing number of individuals who because they continue to be healthy have remained in the workforce.  That group has grown from 12.1 percent in 1990 to 16.1 percent in 2010.  Not surprising, the increase was larger for women, a group that tends to be less financially well off and lives longer.

No matter when you decide to retire, make sure you are financially ready to do so.  Take a realistic look at what retirement will mean to you.  Retirement is supposed to be about spending time doing the things you’ve saved up for but a lot of Baby Boomers haven’t saved up near enough and are retiring anyway.  Retiring before you are debt free risks your estate.  An AARP study in 2011 found that 56 percent of retirees had debts when they left the workforce but almost none delayed retirement in reaction to that debt.  Even scarier, the same survey found that 59 percent had saved less than $50,000 toward retirement.

Rising debt levels will likely contribute to a decline in the standard of living for many retirees.  What are you doing to make sure you retire debt-free?

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