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Debt in Retirement: How to Handle It

Getting out of debt is hard for everyone, but it's especially challenging after you've retired and are living on a fixed income. What's the best way for retirees to handle their debt?

In the following video from The Motley Fool's series on retirement investing, sponsored by TD Ameritrade, Fool consumer finance expert Dayana Yochim talks to Dan Caplinger, the Fool's director of investment planning, about the problem of retiree debt and you can deal with it. The problem Dan focuses on is that retirees have limited flexibility to repay debt because of their fixed incomes. Moreover, as more parents take student loans on behalf of their children, it's more common to still have debt outstanding when you retire. Dan goes through basic guidelines for considering debt, including maximum amounts you should feel comfortable taking as well as how to dig yourself out of a tough situation if you overextend yourself. Dan concludes that even though Social Security benefits can give you some ability to repay debt, it's far from a limitless resource.

When you really need Social Security
If you're in debt, it's hugely important to maximize your Social Security income to help you pay it down. Find out how you can get everything you can out of your Social Security benefits by reading our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You." Inside, our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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