Most young Canadians start to plan for their retirement not long after joining the workforce, and this is an excellent idea. However, there is no way of knowing what obstacles life will place before us that can derail our carefully crafted plans.
A distressing number of Canadians are going through life in debt and while seniors don’t make up the highest proportion, their debt load tends to increase more year over year because of their fixed income. We all know how interest compounds and just makes the hole that much deeper.
That can mean some tough decisions. A few hardy individuals try to eek out a living on only their government pensions. Of course, these are inadequate for just about anyone who has no debt, let alone somehow who has to make monthly interest payments.
Debt (and debt collectors) can introduce a great of stress into a person’s life. We all know that prolonged stress is not good for the physical or mental well-being or an otherwise perfectly fit person. Now imagine being over 60 and battling issues like mobility, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Here stress can go from an unfortunate occurrence to a potentially deadly one.
Bankruptcy is always an option, but one that is far from problem-free. Many seniors don’t even want to admit they have money problems because it seems like a major failure to go through that much of your life and not be able to enjoy a worry-free retirement. In some cases, their children don’t even know until the situation has reached a critical state. Sadly, seniors are making up 30% of the bankruptcies in this country.
Not all hope is lost, however. Seeking help from family and friends, as well as the professional assistance of a financial planner can reveal some light at the end of the tunnel.