We Are 60 With Student Loan Debt and Need to Save for Retirement

Question:

Dear Steve,

My husband and I are 60. We have put 4 children through college and ourselves as well.

We stopped paying our credit card bills 4 years ago, and we now have 13 of them in collections. They total approximately $15,000.

We have together about $140,000 in student loans. We bring home $6400 monthly together.

We have one car, which will be paid off in one year, and the payment is $251 monthly. So we want to get out of debt.

Should we sell our home to get out of debt? We stand to make approximately $150,000 if we sell.

Please share some advice. We have bad credit now and need to get out of debt and start saving for our retirement.

Thank you.

Jean

Answer:

Dear Jean,

Well, we have some challenges in front of us.

You didn’t mention details on the student loans? Are these Parent PLUS loans or loans for you and your husband? Maybe they are private student loans. Let me know in the comment section below.

It seems clear that whatever path you are on now is not sustainable since you stopped making payments on credit cards four years ago and are still drowning.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, you are in a bad spot, and the most critical factor here is time. Since you are 60 and now wanting to save for retirement, time is your absolute enemy.

From my perspective, planning for retirement is the most important issue we have to deal with.

I’m afraid there are some big holes in the information you provided here. There is a solution here, but I really need you to spend some time talking through all the issues with an expert. There is always some solution.

If this was only a retirement issue, I might suggest a Certified Financial Planner, but this is also a debt and student loan problem.

I strongly suggest you talk to my debt coach friend Damon Day and have a deep conversation about the student loan situation and what the plan is if you sell the house.

If the biggest asset you have right now is the $150,000 equity in the home, it would be smart to think about moving that from the equity in the home to protected deposits in retirement accounts.

I don’t know what state you live in to get an idea about the Statute of Limitations in your state. But, those old defaulted credit card accounts could turn into a lawsuit and eventually lead to a lien against your home.

Every dollar of equity you lose now is a dollar you can’t start growing for retirement.

If you don’t want to talk to Damon, that’s okay. But you MUST talk to a debt specialist that will evaluate your entire situation and developed a custom solution to deal with the retirement crisis and the debt bomb.

Damon is one of the three people I know in the U.S. that have these top-level skills to best guide you through this unique and difficult mess.

Sincerly,
Steve

You are not alone. I’m here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don’t give up.

If you have money, credit, or debt questions you’d like to ask the Get Out of Debt Guy, click here.

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