The single biggest obstacle to building and keeping wealth is debt.
That’s right—debt! If you’re paying an increasing amount each month to pay off loans or credit cards, you are in good company.
The average American carries an estimated $10,000 in credit card debt.
Regardless of your circumstances, try to imagine having no credit card, car or mortgage payments. I bet you’re seeing a pretty good picture!
When you eliminate debt from your life, you reduce the amount of income you need to earn from your investments. This gives you increased freedom to be more conservative with your investment holdings, since you won’t need to earn as high a return on your holdings.
You’ll be able to accomplish your goals but probably with less stress because you’ve invested in lower risk choices.
If you’re lowering your risk proportionately, then lower investment returns may well be acceptable to you. If lower returns come along with less stress and increased peace of mind, then this strategy may be the one you should be choosing.
People without debt worry less about their money.
I say this with assurance, from first hand experience, having had conversations with more than 700 retirees!
If you haven’t done so already, one of your principal goals should be to become totally debt free at or before retirement. If you have debt, get rid of it before you do any other investing.
If you have investments and debt, sell your investments to pay off your debts. Then take the added cash that you will have each month to build back up your investment accounts.
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