Mattson Financial Services - July 2018



If you’re young at heart and looking to stay (or get) in shape this summer, consider taking a trip to the mall. No, not to pick up some hot new exercise product or dietary supplement, but to walk a few laps. Safe and convenient, “mall walking” has become one of the biggest trends in senior fitness. COOL IN THE SUMMER, WARM IN THE WINTER This time of year, heatstroke can be a real concern when exercising outside. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a homebody. Because malls are spacious and climate-controlled, they make great year-round walking venues, especially when summer temperatures spike. You don’t even need to put on sunscreen! REST STOPS ABOUND While the average American shopping center isn’t as scenic as the Appalachian Trail, they are far more convenient. Replete with

bathrooms, cool drinking water, and plenty of benches, the mall lets you focus on exercising and removes all of the “what ifs” that come with aging. Most malls are also outfitted with EMT kits in the event of a medical emergency. SQUEEZE IN SOME SHOPPING It is still a mall, after all. Why not check a few items off your shopping list or reward yourself with a new pair of sneakers? Getting things done as you exercise makes the experience that much more rewarding. Just remember not to overdo it. Carrying too many shopping bags can place undue stress on your back — and your wallet. YOUWON’T BE ALONE Today, malls are the second-most popular places to walk in America, after neighborhoods. Mall walking has become so big that many


But It Doesn’t Have To

When people approaching retirement are asked about their biggest fears, debt consistently ranks near the top of the list. That’s with good reason. According to finance company Comet, roughly 80 percent of American adults have some amount of debt. Many Americans will retire with a mortgage, car payment, or some other form of financial obligation. Obviously, retiring debt-free is the best outcome, but it’s simply not realistic for many people. That said, a little planning can go a long way toward making debt manageable after your career is over. Ideally, paying down debt should begin while retirement is still far off on the horizon. High-cost consumer loans, like those on credit cards, should be the debts you tackle first. A good rule of thumb is to start with the debt that has the highest interest rate. The longer that debt sits, the more you pay in interest. Many of these debts are not tax-deductible, so there’s no point in waiting for the optimal time to pay them off.

As you get nearer to retirement, you should take a look at your mortgage and be ready to do some math. Because mortgages are tax-deductible, you may be in for a significant rate decrease once you retire. While the best strategy for you may be different than your neighbor’s, there are a few principles that apply to all cases. You need to be sure that your payments during retirement will be manageable on your reduced income. You should also never cash in your 401(k) or other retirement accounts early to pay off your mortgage, because you’ll incur serious fees for an early withdrawal. As you transition into retirement, you should reevaluate your budget. The more expenses you can reduce, the longer your resources will last and the less stressful any outstanding debt will be. You should also set aside at least three months of emergency funds if possible so that you won’t need to use credit if something unplanned happens.

Retiring without any debt may not be an option for you, but that shouldn’t stop you from proactively planning to decrease debt before you stop working. Like the proverbial monster under the bed, debt is a lot less scary when you’re willing to stare it straight in the face.

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