They call it the “Golden Years,” as retirement is meant to be a relaxing and carefree time after logging many years at a job. But according to a new report by Securian Financial Group, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based financial services firm, more Baby Boomers are dragging mortgage debt with them into retirement than ever before. The results of their survey found that a whopping 49% of retirees enter into retirement with debt.
According to the study, 38% of current retirees have at least $50,000 in debt, and of those who are nearing retirement, a whopping 67% said they expect to carry mortgage debt with them into retirement. Mortgage debt seems to trump all other financial hardships for Baby Boomers, and the numbers have climbed dramatically since Securian completed their last study to the same regard in 2009.
Michelle Hall, manager of market research at Securian, said, “Mortgage debt is a dark cloud over pre-retirees’ financial futures. These numbers are troubling. For retirees on fixed incomes, debt payments are extremely burdensome and become more so as the cost of living rises.”
Perhaps the most troubling thing about the study is that 23% of pre-retirees feel that their debt will be “much more” than their savings as they enter into retirement. And considering that so many retirees have more debt than their savings and investments combined, it’s a real concern.
Other forms of debt plaguing this cross-section of people include credit card debt, with 40% of pre-retirees saying they expect to have credit card debt when they retire. The survey also polled respondents to get an idea of their attitude concerning debt. While 53% of respondents said “debt is something to avoid if possible,” 19% had a different view, noting that “debt is normal.”