Can I pay off my credit cards and other debts before retirement?

  • Pay off credit card and consumer debt before you retire.
  • If possible, pay off your entire mortgage by retirement.
  • Spend less than you earn. Do not take on new debt prior to or during retirement without a realistic plan to pay it off.
  • Consider the 10 years before retirement as your "debt-reduction decade."
    • Track your spending, and pay your bills on time.
    • If you think you may fall behind, talk with creditors early and often, not after you are late on your payments.
  • Build an emergency fund of at least three months of living expenses to avoid relying on credit for unplanned costs.