The Stress Of Debt
8 in 10 Americans are in debt. And while for some, it’s a simple monthly payment for which they’ve budgeted, others are drowning. If you’ve experienced the stress of debt, you know that it’s a lot more than a financial concern. Debt affects your mental health, your relationships, and your plans for the future. For many people, debt is a prison from which there seems to be no escape.
Debt makes us postpone doing the things we’ve always wanted–things like moving, starting a business, buying a home, seeking out a better job, or providing for our families the way we’d like to. The scariest thing about debt is that if you don’t get proactive in tackling it, it will compound and grow. Late fees accrue, and any attempt you make to put out one fire simply distracts you from the three other fires that have sprung up.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Whatever your situation, smart handling of finances can help you to pay off debts and start saving instead.
Debt is Persisting into Old Age
One of the major signs that debt is becoming a bigger problem for Americans is the fact that we’re getting more in debt as we get older, not less. Previously, we assumed that debt was mostly incurred by younger people starting out–i.e. new college grads, folks who had just put down money for their first home, and those looking to start new enterprises. However, today 73% of Americans die in debt, and the average amount of that debt is over $60,000.
During a period of life when most people are trying to retire and spend their senior years visiting family and focusing on their hobbies and passions, more and more of us are postponing retirement, or living on a very modest fixed income.
Careful management of debt and proactive measures to discharge it can protect your retirement and allow you to do the things that you’ve always wanted.
What’s the Main Cause of Debt?
The single biggest form of debt held by Americans is a mortgage for a home. This kind of debt is largely unavoidable for homeowners, but it can still be made more manageable through refinancing and smart handling. The second biggest form of debt is credit card debt, followed closely by car loans and student loans. Whatever the reason for your debt, we here at Layton Wealth Management can help you to get a better handle on it.
As we mentioned above, debt can feel like a prison, and most days it feels utterly impossible to escape. You might simply feel like every day is just another step deeper into the hole. However, when people are actually able to come to a professional financial consultant with their problems, they find that there are more solutions than they had previously thought. We have helped hundreds of families find solutions to their debt that allows them to start building wealth instead of constantly patching up problems.
Here at Layton Wealth Management, we help people find creative solutions to their financial problems. We believe that the average person can have a robust, thriving bank account, and reach their personal financial goals with thoughtful planning. We believe in starting right where you are.
Most people assume that when they meet with someone in order to handle debt, they’ll mainly just get a lecture about cutting back on eating out. However, handling debt is much more than that. We help our clients manage debt by:
- Consolidating loans: Often, you can consolidate loans by taking out one larger loan and paying off all the smaller ones. This makes it so you just have one monthly payment to handle, rather than always struggling to decide which bill to pay that month.
- Prioritizing payments: Not all loans are created equal. Some charge much more interest than others, and some are more risky, too. We can help you determine which payments need to be made first in order to save you the most money.
- Negotiating loans: Although the average person considers their payments non-negotiable, we know through experience that most of them can be minimized through a simply conversation. For example, by communicating with a healthcare provider, you can usually reduce health bills and set up a manageable payment system that will work for both of you.
- Refinancing: If you’ve been regular in making payments for a car loan or mortgage, you can usually refinance to get a better rate, since the establishment doesn’t regard you as high-risk.
- Budgeting and lifestyle management: The majority of Americans fail to make a household budget for themselves, leaving their finances in a risky situation. By establishing a budget, most of our clients are able to maximize their income and make payments they never thought they’d be able to manage.
- Saving up for a safety net: Most things that contribute to the worst debt can be avoided by having a good safety net (which should consist of at least three months of your income.) With a good safety net, you won’t have to stress about unexpected health bills, losing your job, or moving locations.
Here at Layton Wealth Management, we’ve helped hundreds of Utah families escape the bonds of debt, and we can help you too. Call to set up a consultation with one of our experienced team members.