Financial Literacy Month: What to Do if You or a Loved One is Retiring With Debt

April 2, 2015 | | Black Enterprise |

Life happens.  We have children to support.  We lose jobs.  Marriages fall apart.  By the time we near our ‘Golden Years’ the nest-egg we may have envisioned may be a lot smaller than we thought and in many cases, not there at all due to heavy debt loads.

According to the most recent data from Employee Benefit Research Institute,  families with heads ages 55-64 have an average debt level of about $107,000.  This also weighs heavily on our psychological and emotional well-being.  The study also found that nearly half of workers with a major debt problem are not at all confident that they have enough money for a financially secure retirement.

For African Americans, a debt-burdened retirement may feel inevitable.  A study by Demos finds that 42% of our households are relying on credit cards for basic living expenses, making it difficult to even think about things like investing for retirement and financial security.