hush-hush: confidential, secret (Merriam-Webster)
Shh, don’t tell anyone, but my hubby and I are in our 50s and have a lot of debt.
There. I said it. The cat is out of the bag. You now know the truth. My hubby and I are in our 50s and are deeply in debt. Ouch. That hurt!
While this is still difficult and painful to admit even from behind the safety of this blog, I don’t know as I could be quite so forthcoming in real life. Scratch that. I know I couldn’t be because I haven’t been!
Merriam-Webster defines hush-hush as being confidential, secret. When it comes to carrying a boatload of debt in your later years, I think this definition is spot on. I mean really, who in their right mind would trumpet their dirty debt secret to the masses? Okay, I don’t honestly know that many people in real life, but the thought of spilling it all to even just one person makes me feel like throwing up. It’s a secret alright, and not a good one at that!
The sad thing is that we all know that we can’t possibly be the only ones out there battling debt in this stage of life!
No, it isn’t good or something to be proud of, but for so many of us, it is indeed the harrowing truth. Of course, no one in their right mind wants to go public with this sort of thing. But what if we did? Wouldn’t it be beneficial to quit hiding our dirty debt secrets? Could this create a movement all about encouraging each other to continue working towards financial freedom? I think it could!
For many of us though, reaching out to others in our immediate circles might feel rather uncomfortable. An alternative to this might be a public support group. A Google search of local groups brought up zilch for me. While I did find Debtors Anonymous and Spenders Anonymous, neither have meetings in my area. From what I can tell, they both use a 12 step approach. No doubt very helpful to some but this is still not quite what I have in mind.
First of all, despite having debt, I’m not a compulsive spender. I never was, never have been. Our debt was brought on by multiple things:
Poor budgeting lack of budgeting, living in a house for far too long that was a complete money pit, poor choices (new cars we really couldn’t afford!), medical bills, jobs losses, and just living beyond our means. As I’ve often heard Dave Ramsey say, we were normal!
Secondly, we have drawn a line in the sand and are actually doing something about it! We are sticking to our budget and making steady progress in getting out from under our debt. It will take time. We didn’t accumulate our debt overnight, and it isn’t going to go away overnight.
What would I envision as a good support group for those of us battling debt in our later years?
I could see it as being similar to that of a TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) group. I have a close friend who is involved with TOPS. Her group consists of 5 or 6 women who are all doing remarkably well. They weigh in together (no weight secrets in their group!) and then they spend time talking about their successes, challenges, goals, etc. Knowing that they weigh in each week also helps keep them accountable. A similar approach could work as a support group for those of us battling debt.
But with the hush-hush of being in debt in your later years, finding others to start such a support group is in all reality probably easier said than done.
The only thing I’ve even found even remotely similar is Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. From what I have heard though, from some on-line friends who have attended, it tends to favor those in the younger crowd. Is this because of the hush-hush of being in debt in your later years? My hunch is that is a huge part of it. That and the class does feel geared towards those in the younger age bracket.
With no such local support group currently available, I will in the meantime continue to do my best to support an on-line movement for those of us battling debt in our later years. We are out here, and despite the way it often feels, we are not alone. It is time to quit the hush-hush and do something about it.
My hubby and I are in our 50s. We have a lot of debt, but that is not where our story will end. We may have started later than most, but we will succeed, and we will finish what we have begun! Are you with us?