Retirement or debt?

My husband is 64 and he works full time . He has never had an option to invest until now. His company offers a Simple IRA with them matching amounts. We have about 15000 of credit card debt. I am not working and I have started investing in Stash and Acorns. I have no retirement saved at all . Should we keep doing what we are doing? We pay more than the minimum of the credit cars but it seems like never ending debt. We own our home outright and are empty nesters. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance

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I would take advantage of the retirement plan, as much as you possibly can.

As for the debt, I always recommend Greenpath as a help for getting out of debt and learning to live without getting back in. Great not-for-profit agency- I used them myself. Check them out online.


Always take advantage of any extras you can get with a retirement plan. That is free money and it can’t hurt.

As far as the credit card debt and investing, my mentor has taught me to take a balanced approach to finances.

He breaks finances down into 4 main parts apart from your main expenses: Saving, Investing, Debt Reduction and Giving.

He recommends setting a percentage for each and allotting that percentage of your income to each one on a consistent basis. i.e. 2% to each category.

Then, as you apply other financial principles, you increase that number. When the debt is gone, you divide that category into the others.

Taking this approach keeps your finances balanced overall and in the long run.

If you focus solely on debt reduction and have no savings, when something unexpected comes up, you will generally find yourself in more debt.

If you save and reduce debt but never invest. While your debt may go away, you will eventually use up your savings for something but your NET worth will never increase because you are not invested.

And by allotting some to Giving, it just helps to remind us that no matter how bad we have it, there is always someone out there who has it worse than we do.


Thank you for replying. I will try your suggestions and yes giving is good for the soul.


Thank you Kellyfromkeene I am from NH too. I did not realize that they where in Manchester. I will check them out ! Thanks for your relpy.

Have a great day.


This comes with a caveat to do a lot of research and perhaps speak with a financial advisor but if you own your home outright you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage. I’m suggesting this without having done recent research myself.

Reverse mortgages, when they first appeared on the market, had a lot of fine print issues that were not good for the homeonwer. That has changed, but there are a lot of things to consider before jumping into one.

The positive, is that you can still live in your home, and the newer reverse mortgages do not always mean your beneficiaries automatically have to forfeit the home back to the bank. If your credit card debt is hard to keep up with/payoff a reverse mortgage can help you avoid high interest rate balances on a credit cards and provide retirement income using the equity you have in your home.

Please do your homework though, I always hate to give advice without doing my own research, but I don’t mind sharing alternatives to investigate.

@mexpensive, so glad to see a local person here! Feel free to PM me if you want more info or anything.

PS, are you just loving this weather? I am, but glad it doesn’t last too too long.

I would suggest working on turning your debt over onto a 0% interest card that way all your payments go to the principle balance. If you sign up for the Credit Karma app they will send you suggestions based on your credit score. As for the retirement plan, hang in and keep earning.


Thank you !

Take advantage of the full match with employer retirement!

Call your credit card and ask for lower interest… if they won’t lower then find new card with 0% or low interest to transfer debt to…

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You don’t indicate whether you have a budget or goals on paper. If not, that is what I would do immediately. Doesn’t have to be elaborate, but I would put your heads together and realistically list your real expenses and income. I too would become familiar with as much financial/investment information as possible. That alone is worth the investment it is to yourselves and your future goals. I agree with those above as to maxing out the retirement account. I haven’t heard of a full match in a while. I have held 2 cards for many years and if I wound up with debt, I transferred it to 0% on the other card. Not sure what the rates are now for transfers as I have managed to get out of debt and stay that way. I am not for reverse mortgages. Two questions occurred to me as a read: (1) is there a reason why you are not working; and (2) is there a way you can rent out some space in your home? Not aiming to invade your privacy, but my approach to debt is extra work means extra money, so two incomes are better than one. There are so many blogs out there with info on earning extra income so I would take advantage of them. Even a part time job can be directed to decrease your debt. If you put the numbers out in front of you, try different scenarios, and you can come up with a workable plan and follow it.

Update… Husband still working full time… we have kept investing and took a loan to consolidate most of our debt. That the credit score up .Will keep working on our debt and trying to keep saving for unexpected bills…

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Re: getting on a debt payment plan, I would look to a recognized authority such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).

i am 71 and still working i have tried to buy back into my pension and i am doing that, but they told me it could take up to 2 years, well its one now, if i am back in, i go back to tier 4 instead of tier 6 i am healthy and ready to get back in to the pension, it would help me, because i lost my husband and have only my income, i love this community i learn so much thank you all