Debt can be a burden at any age because it can prevent you from getting ahead financially. But debt can be an especially heavy weight in retirement. Making monthly debt payments can leave you with less money to cover necessary expenses — especially if you're living on a fixed income.
"If you ignore this situation, it very well could eat into your nest egg over the years and force you back to work at some point down the road," warned Neal Frankle, a certified financial planner and editor of the Wealth Pilgrim website.
Taking steps to eliminate debt now can keep it from derailing your retirement. "I recommend taking a look at your debts and giving yourself a realistic term," said Leslie Tayne, a financial attorney and author of "Life and Debt." She recommends shooting for five to seven years to get your debt down to zero.
Setting a deadline to get rid of debt allows you to establish a date for when you can comfortably retire, Tayne said. Focus on paying off these bills if you want to retire without debt.
Click through to see what you can do now so you can retire without debt and learn what debts to you need to pay off sooner rather than later.
Ruth Sarreal contributed to the reporting for this article.