There seems to be two trains of thought when it comes to saving for retirement. There are those that think that you should focus on paying down all your debts first and foremost before focusing on saving (I tend to fall into this thought process myself). And then there are those that believe that you should not focus just on your debt, but find a happy medium between paying your debts and saving and that not all debt is bad (the “pay yourself first” crowd). While there are merits to both sides, what works best for you really comes down to personal preference as well as where you are financially. To determine what works best for you, you need to first have a good sense of the type of debts you have, if any. Are they high interest? Do you have large remaining balances? Do they require high monthly payments? If you find yourself answering “yes” to these questions, you may want to focus on paying down your debts first. If your answers are “no” then you might be in a position to pay yourself first. While I believe all debt should be paid down, there are many out there that believe in “good” vs “bad” debt. The good debt is low interest and isn’t going to hurt your wallet each month or your credit score if you make timely payments (many federal student loans fall in that category). However, things such as credit card debt or high interest loans can do some serious damage to your credit score and can carry high interest rates that make it hard to climb out of debt. Now that you’ve reviewed your debt, regardless of what camp you fall into, you will want to come up with a debt repayment plan. Even if you only have “good” debt, you will still want to pay it off as that will be beneficial in the long run. Come up with a plan that works with your goals, yet keeps you on a track. Of course, don’t be afraid to adjust your payments and long term plans as needed. If you need help with planning for your future–including how to get your debts under control and how to make your money work for you–don’t be afraid to speak with a certified financial planner or wealth manager.