This Is Easily the Most Common Debt Among Retirees

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Retiree trying to lower her inflation risk
shurkin_son /

Talk to just about any financial adviser, and they will urge you to enter retirement without debt. But while a goal of beginning your golden years in the black is laudable, the reality can be very different.

A recent survey of about 2,000 American retirees between the ages of 62 and 75 found that many of those retirees had debt. Some folks likely ran out of time to pay off their debts before retiring. Others may have entered the red or simply deepened their debt level after leaving work.

Among all the types of debt retirees report, one leads the list by far, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute survey.

1. Credit card debt

Credit Card Senior
Monkey Business Images /

Retirees who said they had this type of debt in:

  • 2022: 40%
  • 2020: 43%

Credit card debt is almost always expensive, but it’s much scarier when you do not have a regular paycheck to help you pay the bills.

If you are struggling with this type of bill, stop by the Money Talks News Solutions Center and find help paying your credit card debt.

2. Mortgage

Happy senior couple in front of their house
Monkey Business Images /

Retirees who said they had this type of debt in:

  • 2022: 30%
  • 2020: NA

A home loan is one of the few types of borrowing that can be classified as “good debt.” Many financial advisers suggest paying off a mortgage before retirement, but others argue against such a strategy.

Should you pay off your home loan before entering your golden years? Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson gives his take in “Should I Pay Off My Mortgage Before Retirement?

3. Car loan

Senior driver
Rob Marmion /

Retirees who said they had this type of debt in:

  • 2022: 23%
  • 2020: 30%

Unless you have a lot of money in savings, a car loan is hard to avoid — whether you are retired or not. So it makes sense that nearly a quarter of retirees still are paying off this type of loan.

Less common types of debt

A senior patient receives health care
BlurryMe /

Retirees said they also are carrying these types of debt in 2022:

  • Medical debt: 11%
  • Home equity loan: 7%
  • Student loan: 4%
  • Business loan: 1%

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