Meet Samantha Brookes, CEO and Founder of Mortgages of Canada and author of “Cash is Queen.
To have a fit body improves your quality of life, and the same can be applied for being financially fit.
Brookes says, “Being financially fit and physically fit are pretty much the same thing!
The only difference is being physically fit works on your body’s physique, and being financially fit works on your budget and your finances.
Where the the two efforts correlate is in the mental aspect of the routine.”
Brookes offered her financial fitness tips for Seniors 55 plus.
To be financially secure, and not worry about a mortgage, planning in advance is the key. Many people of a certain age consider life insurance (like the coverage offered by Final Expense Direct) as a way of planning for the financial security of their family should something happen to them down the line. This gives people more peace of mind that their loved ones will be looked after financially should the unthinkable happen!
Brookes says, “It’s also important to create a budget and increase your cash flow or income while you are young and have the energy and resources to do so.
She continues “It’s not uncommon for seniors between the age of 55 and 73 to still have a mortgage on their home, especially here in Canada where the cost of living continues to increase at a rapid pace and post retirement debt continues to climb due to low interest rates.”
According to a stats report, in 2014  “Will Dunning, chief economist with the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, says among homeowners 65 years or older, 35% have a mortgage.”
Brookes says, “That number has most likely increased.”
Here are her other preparation tips:
The first recommendation to prepare for retirement is to convert your savings to income. Meaning, use some of the money saved to create a source of cash flow for income. This will help with living expenses.
The second thing on the list is to create a budget. Making a budget and being conservative with your spending will help to reallocate extra money towards paying down the balance of your home and your debt.
The third suggestion would be to start de-clutter your home by making a list of what you can keep, give away and throw away.
There are many benefits for paying off your mortgage early. Paying off your mortgage frees up your cashflow first and foremost.
This allows you to make extra contributions towards investment(s) and RRSPs.
You would have more money readily available for emergencies and you can leverage the equity in your home to purchase more real estate to create that extra cash flow or even a vacation home.
Paying off your mortgage early can improve your quality of life so you can put a plan in place and work on your retirement.
The main reason most seniors downsize is to feel safer in a smaller more manageable home. Before downsizing, there needs to be a lot to take into consideration.
Over the years, chances are you’ve accumulated a lot of personal belongings.
You will need to know who you will give these belongings to or if they can be tossed out.
You’ll need to know how small is too small, especially if you have family coming over to visit on a regular basis.
How much can you afford? What are the amenities?
Are you looking for a unit with modifications for mobility, sight or hearing?
Should you be moving into a Senior Living building?
Are you willing to move to a city or country with warmer climates?
Downsizing can be an emotional roller coaster but in the end, it’s always worth it.
Marr, Gary If you want to have a mortgage in retirement, be prepared to make some big sacrifices https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/canada-mortgages-old-age Financial Post., 2014
Thanks to Christine Blanchette for our weekly Fitness Friday Features.