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Retirement Series: Managing Debt

Retirement Series: Managing Debt: Informed Retirement Decisions

This workshop primarily is intended for adults who are thinking ahead to retirement when they will no longer have new income sources. The decisions they make about debt preretirement and during retirement will impact their retirement paycheck.

Debt is a way of life for many Americans. Reviewing one’s debt load when approaching retirement is critical. Making changes to eliminate and reduce debt prior to retirement will have a positive impact on one’s retirement lifestyle and help to ensure that savings for retirement last as long as possible. By sharing tools and resources during this workshop, you will show participants how to get the clear answers they need so they can make better informed decisions and be more confident decisions about how they will manage their debt leading into and during retirement.

The following topics are addressed in the Informed Retirement Decisions: Managing Debt workshop:

  • The impact of debt load as an income reducer during retirement
  • Strategies to reduce and manage debt load
  • Ways to deal with insufficient cash flow during retirement

Workshop Materials

You must agree to the terms of the Content License Agreement below to access the materials. Once the materials are downloaded, they may be used as-is or customized to best meet your needs.

The PowerPoint presentation is customizable and can help you facilitate a discussion about retirement decision making for your participants.

Download a facilitator guide that will lead you through your presentation.

The Workshop Packet includes an Action Plan for participants as well as worksheets, handouts, scenarios, activities and other resources referred to throughout the workshop.

Feeling unsure about your presentation? FAQs will help answer your questions about working with your intended audience.


Who will be attending the workshop?

This workshop primarily is intended for adults in their 50s and early 60s who are thinking ahead to retirement when they will no longer have new income sources. The decisions they make about debt preretirement and during retirement will impact their retirement paycheck.

What are the learning outcomes of this workshop?

As a result of this workshop, participants will be equipped with knowledge and confidence to outline the most realistic strategy to minimize debt prior to and during retirement. Participants will address the following learning objectives as they master the competency:

  • Discuss how debt load impacts retirement cash flow as an income reducer.
  • Review strategies to reduce and manage debt.
  • Identify strategies to deploy when facing a cash squeeze during retirement, including maintaining an emergency reserve fund.

How will I know that participants have achieved the target outcomes?

Participants will know that they have achieved the target outcomes when they have done the following:

  • Tallied current debt load (and anticipated debt load at retirement if not yet retired).
  • Established SMART goals to pay off all consumer debt.
  • Adopted tactics to avoid taking on new debt during retirement.
  • Established a liquid emergency reserve fund as a contingency to cover the costs of unplanned financial events.
  • Outlined rules to guide spending and borrowing decisions during retirement, particularly related to major expenditures.
  • Outlined criteria and rules to guide decisions about saving and extracting money during retirement, taking into consideration tax regulations and penalties.

Can I share my own experiences during this workshop?

When it comes to talking about money, sharing your own successes and challenges will make the workshop much more engaging — and valuable — for participants. It makes the points you’re discussing come alive, reassures them that they are not alone in having questions and concerns, and encourages them to share their own experiences, which can be equally valuable to other participants. Keep in mind that participants may feel self-conscious about their financial situation or some of the choices they’ve made, so include a statement in your opening that these workshops are a judgment-free zone and that there is no single right or wrong answer — it depends on the person’s situation and values. The aim of this workshop is to empower individuals to make decisions that work for them and align with their values and needs, which might not look like everyone else’s.

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