Congratulations, Homeowners, You Already Have An Important Element Of Your Estate Plan
The two feelings that tend to motivate people to get started on their estate plan are the awareness of their mortality (thank you, junk mail from the AARP) and feelings of financial security. The first step in estate planning is to acknowledge that your time on Earth and your financial resources are finite. If you are younger than 60 and you are reading an estate planning blog, however, it stands to reason that you are in a financial position to do more than just live paycheck to paycheck. Along similar lines, most people who frequent debt-free living websites can afford more than just the minimum payments on their debts. If you are young enough and healthy enough that you still plan to work for more than another decade, focusing on your debt repayment goals is probably a better retirement planning strategy than making any big investments or major changes to your lifestyle. A Hillsborough County estate planning lawyer can help you stay on track to pay off your mortgage and other debts to enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Boring Job, Fabulous Retirement
According to a study by the Retirement Security Research Center, owning a house with a paid-off mortgage and having guaranteed income, in the form of Social Security or a retirement pension, is the strongest predictor of feelings of financial stability in retirees. The study asked retirees to describe themselves as affluent, comfortable, average, just getting by, or struggling; notably, it did not ask them their net worth, so these were subjective judgments about the retirees’ financial wellbeing. Most of the retirees who rated themselves as affluent or comfortable owned houses, and they had either paid off their mortgages, or they owed only a small amount on their mortgages, and with their guaranteed income, they would be able to pay off the balance of the mortgage soon.
Unsurprisingly, the retirees who were struggling or just getting by did not own homes, and in addition to paying rent, they also owed money for medical bills or credit card debt. Even if they had guaranteed income, it was not enough to give them financial freedom. Much of this is attributable to factors outside the retirees’ control, such as the health and earning capacity they enjoyed while they were younger; if you are healthy and have a stable job, that is not something to take for granted. The takeaway is that your retired self will thank you if, for the time being, you stick with your boring job, maximize your employer-matched retirement contributions, and use your discretionary income to pay down your mortgage and other debts.
Contact an Attorney Today
There are no quick fixes in estate planning. A Tampa probate lawyer can help you tackle your mortgage debt and other debts so that the money you earn now will be enough to sustain you in retirement. Contact David Toback for help today.