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Retirement—Part III—Debt

by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM has long said that it is best to work off other peoples money. Developers have done it. Businesses have done it. Even lenders have done it. It has become such an accepted mantra that individuals have done it, sometimes to excess.

Borrowing to buy cars, houses, furniture and of course the wide spread use of credit cards is the norm today.

However, as one nears retirement it is time to reassess that theory and how it can impact retirement.

1018476_the_futureIt is one thing to carry a manageable amount of debt when working. But, it is quite another to have debt when on a fixed income. Retirement can only be considered secure if there is little or no debt. On a fixed income, whatever the source (s) things can take a down turn with little warning and few options to change the direction. Debt can be the difference between making it and not.

If you don’t owe money, no one can take your house, your car, or throw you into bankruptcy. Yes, in a worst case scenario you may have to reduce your standard of living, but you won’t lose everything you have toiled to secure. The side benefit is the ability to get a good night’s sleep knowing that you owe nothing to anyone.

Personally, I don’t like debt. I’ve had it, sometimes a lot of it. I’ve also spent a lot of nights drinking milk and eating cookies when I should have been sleeping.

My advice as you approach retirement is to get rid of debt. Saving a nest egg is essential of course, but that isn’t secure if it is offset by debt.

Pay off credit cards, cars, and if necessary downsize the house. But when you walk off the job for the last time be debt free. What do you think?


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Ken Vincent
Ken Vincenthttp://sbpra.com/KennethVincent/
KEN is a 46 year veteran hotelier and entrepreneur. Formerly owned two hotels, an advertising agency, a wholesale tour company, a POS company, a leasing company, and a hotel management company. The hotels included chain owned, franchises, and independents. They ranged in type from small luxury inns, to limited service properties, to large convention hotels and resorts. After retiring he authored a book, “So Many Hotels, So Little Time” in which he relates what life is like behind the scenes for a hotel manager. Ken operated more that 100 hotels and resorts in the US and Caribbean and formed eight companies. He is a firm believer that senior management should share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of management.

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