Debt Counselling Expert to Canadians: Three Ways to Retire Debt-Free

Personal debt has always been a major topic in national conversations concerning financial security. This is more disturbing for retirees who have to survive on a fixed income and have less options to amend their financial state. In fact, according to Statistics Canada (via, nearly one-thirds of retired individuals as young as 55 owe several thousand dollars, the median being $19,000. A survey done for Manulife also suggested that many still struggle with financial literacy; a quarter of respondents do not even think mortgages and auto loans are part of their total debt.


Blair Greenwood, a Victoria, BC debt counselling expert, shares ways you can beat personal debt for a more pleasant retirement:

Consider downsizing

What aspects of your current lifestyle can you live without? By downsizing, you can save some funds for your debt payments. If you dine out frequently, create a budget plan for your meals, stick to it, and prepare food at home. Not only will you save on expenses; cooking is a great form of exercise for the mind as well as for the body.

Avoid splurging on vacations. The Internet has a lot of cheaper yet good-quality travel packages for you to choose from. A more drastic option would be to move to a smaller home and sell assets which are no longer as important during your retirement. Doing this early would be more ideal to take a huge chunk of your principal and pay less on interest.

Delay or work part-time

Pushing back the date may be hard for you if you’ve already resolved to retire at a certain age, but it can make a huge difference.  You can take advantage of the extra time to pay off more of your debt and delay the onset of physical lethargy that comes with aging. If you’re really that eager to rest, you can still consider working part time and taking on new and interesting job roles; this will help you maintain an active lifestyle and earn extra money to extinguish your debt.

Restructure your debt

Basically, restructuring involves taking out another loan and using this to pay off your existing debts. Often, these loans can be obtained with reduced fees, lower interest rates, and distributed throughout a period in consideration of your monthly income and financial capabilities. 4 Pillars debt counselling professionals such as Blair Greenwood can help you restructure your finances.

Don’t think of being debt-free as an ever-distant dream. By looking at the above mentioned strategies in a positive perspective, and with the guidance of a compassionate debt counsellor, you can rid of debt permanently and retire happily.


Survey: Many Canadians retire with debt,

About half of Canadians expect to be in debt when they retire,