Why retire if you still have mortgage or other debt?

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An image representing crushing mortgage debt.

My latest Financial Post article is available in the Wednesday paper and online under the headline Retiring with a mortgage? Why you might want to think twice about that.

As I confess at the outset, my bias is to what I often state in my book, Findependence Day: the foundation of financial independence is a paid-for home. Since Findependence is also a prerequisite to Retirement, to me it follows that seniors still weighed down by credit-card debt or even mortgage debt would be better off working at least part-time and use the proceeds to take down their debt to zero. After that, they can live rent-free and the pressure will be off to make the monthly nut (although of course property taxes and condo maintenance fees may remain for some.)

Payday loans an ominous sign for seniors

Check the reader comments at the end of the FP piece and it appears at least some seniors agree with me. But the story itself passes on the input from some professional commentators who think it’s perfectly fine to have some debt at these record-low interest rates.

Hey, the Liberal government seems to think that’s reason enough for the country to live beyond its means, so maybe seniors should take their cue from Ottawa. The story also describes the problems some seniors are getting from payday loans. Wonder if they could help out the Liberal government too in a pinch? Kidding!

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