Highlights

Open

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

PROGRAMS

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide

You can get free, face-to-face tax assistance nationwide.

Money Matters Tip Sheets

Download and print out these PDFs to help with your financial matters.

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming Money webinar or find materials from a past session. 

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Commented

Don't Spend What You Don't Have

Going shopping? Take a buddy, a budget and a stopwatch with you to avoid overspending.

Either the video service is temporarily unavailable or the requested video could not be retrieved. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Pay Down Your Debt Challenge Icon

We'd all like to think that we'll ease into and through retirement free of debt. Unfortunately, that's hardly the case. Americans 65 and older who carry a balance on their credit cards owe $10,235, on average, according to the public policy group Demos. That's up 26 percent from 2005 levels.

See also: Use cash to spend less.

It's not hard to see why older folks are racking up more and more debt. Health care and energy costs are on the rise, and homes and investments have lost significant value. Family members in need of financial help have added to the burden.

For better or (mostly) worse, credit cards have become a way to make ends meet each month. If you're struggling with credit card debt, try these three strategies for getting back on your feet financially:

1. Write everything down

It can be tough to finally admit exactly how much debt you're carrying. I know. I once found myself $100,000 in debt. But if you're going to dig yourself out of debt like I did, you have to know precisely how much damage has been done.

The fastest way to get a snapshot of all of your credit card bills is to pull your credit reports. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to get free copies from the three main credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Avoid other credit report websites — they often charge hidden fees.

Next: Get real with your budget. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Money blog

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits