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Struggling With Finances During Midlife

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 8 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
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It is not at all uncommon to struggle financially in early adulthood, but most people expect that by midlife, they will be in a more comfortable position. Unfortunately, the years don’t always bring with them financial security, and many middle aged people experience difficulties in making ends meet or worry about saving enough for a comfortable retirement.

Debts and Income

Sometimes, even the smartest and most responsible people find themselves shouldering more debt than they can handle. In order to work back to a clean slate, there are really only a few options. If time permits, taking on extra work may help those in midlife to pay down their debts.

While this isn’t easy to do, this can be the simplest way to improve a less than ideal financial situation; the additional funds can be completely earmarked toward outstanding debts, and the unappealing nature of working and extra job can provide plenty of motivation to get finances under control as quickly as possible!

Those who are unable to increase their income may want to review their household budgets in order to find ways to cut spending, thus freeing up funds to apply toward existing debt. Many people are unaware of exactly where their money goes, but by keeping a close watch on all expenditures for a month or two, most can see where they can make temporary sacrifices in order to eliminate debts.

Helping Kids & Parents

Sometimes, those in midlife find themselves strapped financially due to their continual support of either their children or their parents. Raising children can be costly; not only do kids have many needs, but some parents feel that they’ve made choices that may have cost them career advancement because of their dedication to their children.

Caring for aging parents, too, can require time and sometimes, financial assistance from their grown children and often, this help is needed just as the children enter middle age. For some in midlife, both their children and their parents count on them financially, making it even more difficult to have sufficient funds for current expenses, let alone saving for the future.

Thinking About The Future

Midlife is often a time for not only reflection, but for making plans. Most people at this age begin to think seriously about retirement, but for those who are struggling financially, the prospect of retirement may seem like an unattainable dream. Middle age may not be the ideal time to start planning for a financially secure future, but it is not too late, either.

Taking the reins and implementing changes to spending and saving habits can make it possible for those in midlife to become financially stable by the time that they are ready to spend their days pursuing leisure activities!

Smart Loans

While it may seem counterproductive for those who have considerable debt to take out loans, sometimes it is a wise financial move. Credit card debt can sometimes carry high interest rates, especially if someone’s credit history is less than perfect.

Debt consolidation may be beneficial to those who have an array of assorted loans in place, and for those who are saddled with enough debt so that they are only paying the minimums each month, debt consolidation loans may be the best way to make one manageable monthly payment, helping them to chip away at their balances.

Of course, those who choose to take out low interest loans to pay off their other higher interest debts need to be careful not to rebuild any balances on their credit cards!

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