Pay off that debt before you retire

While many retirees say they are happy in retirement and have kept up their standard of living, those outstanding debts — in combination with other red flags, like reliance on Social Security as a main source of income and a lack of long-term care planning — point to the potential for problems, said Catherine Collinson, chief executive and president of the Transamerica Institute and TCRS.

“Many are in a precarious situation if they are confronted with any kind of financial shock,” she said.

TCRS surveyed 2,043 retirees in July, focusing on adults age 50 or older who consider themselves either fully or semiretired. The median age of those retirees was 71.

Among those retirees in the red, the median owed is $52,000 in mortgage debt and $4,000 in non-mortgage debt.

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