At age 65, and older, live debt free?

I am 57. I think I can retire around 66-67. Either year, I will make around $45-$50 thousand in social security and my job retirement account. I will have NO debts by then; including mortgage, credit cards, etc. My biggest worry is medical bills and property taxes, which I pay every 3 months. A lot of people believe you have to have some debts, just to stay in the credit world 'radar,' but others say be "debt free'. What do you think I should plan for?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Lets hope your plans prosper for you my friend.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't really understand this question...why would you consider going into hock if you don't have to? As for living, by the time we reach 65, we have had everything we ever wanted, find no value in junk things to buy...living debt free is very easy....and you will always have your home to fall back on should you need cash (reverse mortgage). When you retire, sign up for both Medicare A AND B...that will end your medical worries. None of us can plan for every contingency, but we do our best and just go with the flow.

    Do NOT cancel any credit card you have, just don't leave balances on them month to month! (cancelling a credit card hurts your FICO, believe it or not! ) And do NOT apply for all those store credit cards they try to talk you into (20% off your purchase today if you sign up for card...etc.) That can put a dent in your FICO quickly. And do not plan on financing cars! Buy what you can afford (I always buy used, the cars I have had never gave me any problems, no need in wasting 5K-10K driving the car off the lot! ) Good luck

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  • 4 years ago

    That's a real pessimistic attitude. You're only a slave if you allow yourself to be. Everyone has the freedom of choice. We get to choose how much education we pursue, what profession to work in, what spouse to marry, what religion to practice. And all this is possible because we live in the greatest nation in the world (assuming you are an American. :p) If you feel you are enslaved, try this little test: Move to a third world Islam dominated nation and live there for a few years. You will be subjected to all types of slavery because many of your choices you had over here you will no longer have. Then esape that place and move back to your old country. I bet it will feel nice and free by comparison. ;)

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  • janet
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    You can be debt free but keep your credit world "radar" active by charging items to a credit card, then pay the balance off every time you receive a bill. You are still debt free, but showing that you have good credit.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Make sure you have enough on hand cash or in easy to get to money for a year's worth of taxes. You should increase your 401k immediately for a least the allowable for medical emergencies. Don't count on social security right away or ever as a main source of retirement income. I believe in having 1 credit card with a very high limit for emergencies.Everything is not foreseen.

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  • Blank
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    My husband and I have been debt free for 20 years. I'm in the debt free camp. Truth is no one ever has debt--debt has you. I hate owing anyone anything and frankly I'm more afraid of selling my future than medical bills.

    We keep one credit card that we use for online shopping and occasional travel. But, we pay the balance immediately so we've never had a balance for more than a month.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I've been fortunate, I am debt free. When my husband was living, we were blessed to have reached that state. He was younger and still employed.

    I am still debt free, but my yearly expenses are greater than my yearly income on social security. Because he made some well considered choices, I can cover my needs beyond what my income is. Will I out live my funds? Good chance, then, I will probably have to make some radical changes.

    Even now, I do live very modestly with no need for luxury. I would really hate to have to give up my computer TV, and pets.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm debt free. Pay off my credit cards monthly. Owe no one nothing. Pour as much as you can into your retirement account-thanks to Obama money in the next ten years will be Monopoly worth.

    By the way-better pray you don't get "offed" from your employer. It happened to me at age 52, lost everything, was forced to move 1,500 miles for a new job after looking for two years, and started over from zero. I'm 66. I got it done. When you are in your fifty's-forget the laws barring discrimination . You don't get hired. Period. Ask any one in their fifty's looking for work. I worked for $8.50/hour, no benefits, for 18 months before I found a position like I said.

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  • Lynn
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Since I know that it is very important to keep your credit cards active

    in order to keep a record of payments to show in a good solid credit

    rating, I would keep a couple of cards open, with a low balance. As I

    tried to make a large purchase and was living debt free. But because

    I hadn't used my credit cards in several months, and paying with cash,

    it went against my payment record and I had difficulty in making that

    purchase. I would have expected I would have had A-1 credit. But I

    learned that had worked against me. So I'd show two lines of credit

    were still active, just to be covered in case you had to make a large

    purchase of some kind, in an emergency or otherwise.

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  • nanny
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Double the amount in your IRA, at least. Don't leave behind your credit cards, you don't know when you might need them.

    When I retired at 57 my world was rosy; then the market crashed and I am living on credit cards and social security. Luckily I now have medicare and health insurance again. Hopefully, my IRA will grow and become what it used to be, then I can start paying back my credit cards.

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  • Micol
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Not knowing what you pay in property taxes which can become an issue, being debt free is the best goal. I am 68, retired at 55 and have spent over $900,000. over what I get from my pension and SS. I am self insured. guaranteed annuities will keep me afloat for the rest of my life.

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