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Debt And Social Security

If you owe the government money for any reason, it may be a good idea to clear the debt before you retire.

As you grow older and retirement starts to become more a reality than a hope and dream, the need to make sure that you can live the lifestyle that you've always envisioned becomes more a question of whether or not you planned and prepared correctly.

Pensions, stock market returns, savings, Social Security, your home, and other investments become a the catalyst for a good and financially solid retirement. But there is one thing that can hurt the best of retirement plans, and that is DEBT.

Many people of retirement age are finding themselves bogged down in high mortgage payments, maxed out credit cards, student loans that were never paid, debt incurred for co-signing for cars and other big ticket items for their children and grandchildren, back taxes, and other high balance debt related expenses.

Debt has been the downfall of many people who would have an otherwise nice retirement. If you have debt, it does not vanish into thin air when you retire. On the contrary, it follows you like your shadow and haunts you like a ghost.

The best thing you can do is to try to pay off as much of your debt as possible before you retire. Some debts can't be cured so easily, such as your mortgage payment if you have one, property taxes, transportation needs, insurance payments, and certain everyday living expenses.

Other debts are more easily paid down or completely paid off. As someone closing in on retirement age, it is a good idea to try to become as debt free as possible before making the decision to stop working.

The one thing you don't want to have to deal with in your retirement years is debt collectors calling you. Debt collectors are bad news for retirees. They will harass you until you pay the debt, file bankruptcy, or die. Sometimes even death doesn't stop them because they will go after your estate if it isn't protected.

Can debt collectors garnish my Social Security benefits? The good thing about your Social Security benefits is that they are protected from most debt collectors. But there are certain debts that your benefits aren't protected from such as:

  • Unpaid federal taxes
  • Federal student loans
  • Court ordered child support
  • Unpaid alimony
  • Unpaid federal property tax liens

If you owe the government money for any reason, it is a good idea to clear the debt before you retire.

Contact your local Social Security Administration Office for further information relating to your benefits.


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