Many Tennessee residents are getting older and starting to think about their retirement. As baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of people exiting the workforce is growing. For those considering retirement in 2015, it can be a stressful and exciting time. Before someone can retire, they have to ensure that their finances are in order and their debt is in check.

Experts suggest that pre-retirees — those considering retirement in the near future — start to make a financial plan for their retirement now. They need to start switching their thinking from a working income-generating person to that of a retired person.

This means that people need to think about all their expenses and how they will pay them without income from a job. These expenses can include credit card bills, mortgage payments and more. However, experts suggest that people budget plenty of income for healthcare costs. These costs are likely to continue to rise as people get older.

People need to determine if there will be a gap between their monthly retirement income and their expenses. If there is a gap, people will need to fill it with personal savings, retirement funds or income from other sources. In order to ensure that this gap stays as low as possible, people should try to eliminate credit card debt and other high interest debt before retiring.

When people are nearing retirement age and facing insurmountable debt, it can be scary. In these cases, people may not know how they will be able to stop working and continue to pay down debt. These people should know that debt relief options — like bankruptcy — are available that may be able to eliminate the debt altogether.

Source: TODAY, “For Baby Boomers who are ready to retire, it’s ‘go time’,” Shelly K. Schwartz, Nov. 17, 2014