Older Americans can struggle with debt just like younger people. Tennessee residents that are approaching retirement may worry about how a heavy debt load will affect their ability to enjoy their so-called golden-years. Retirement isn’t what it used to be and with people living longer, Tennesseans need to be particularly careful that they have the assets they need to fulfill their retirement dreams and meet their basic needs as they age.

Experts suggest that by managing debt in the years leading up to retirement, people can ensure that their retirement accounts are going to help them have the best retirement possible. Experts offer a few ways to ensure that people do not accumulate too much debt prior to retirement.

One, experts warn people not to upsize before retirement. This means that people need makes sure their living situation will not burden them too much for years to come. While a retirement community may seem reasonable, insurance rates, association fees and large mortgage payments can become a burden for retirees.

Two, people should carefully consider how to finance their own children’s college educations. When Tennessee residents’ children are accepted to expensive schools, experts warn about borrowing money to pay for it. People may have limited sources of income to pay the debt and could be put into a position where they can’t afford their own basic needs.

Finally, experts say people should be cautious about racking up credit card debt. This debt often carries high interest rates and can create problems.

People who are approaching retirement who are struggling with debt management should make sure to understand all their legal options. By following these tips, seeking financial planning and exploring debt relief options, people can get the most out of their retirement.

Source: Forbes, “Debts That Can Kill Your Retirement Plan,” Mitch Tuchman, April 11, 2014