By Vera Wilson
It’s estimated that about one-third of people over 65 have trouble paying their bills, and many are in debt. Retirement can be a welcome and exciting time, but going from a regular paycheck to what’s typically a smaller fixed income can bring the wrong kind of excitement.
That’s why it’s more important than ever for seniors to watch their pennies, and there are a slew of apps out there to help you stay on top of your finances.
Seniors sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to technology, but they aren’t Luddites – just like millennials, most can’t live without their cellphone and computers. They are more apt to lose patience with badly designed programs, so apps that are straightforward and without all the bells and whistles are most popular with seniors. Here are some to try.
(NOTE: MOAA does not endorse any financial apps, nor can we provide evaluations regarding these or similar programs. The below products are examples, not recommendations; consider all your financial and security needs and do your research before purchasing any financial products or services.)
The Military Retirement app from Lynnfield LLC informs military personnel of their benefits upon retirement. Better still, it can estimate your retirement pay without the need to enter personal identifying information. It also addresses premiums and plan options related to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), TRICARE, disability pay, and more.
“Create a budget then stick to it” is the mantra of many financial experts. PocketGuard not only helps you create a budget but makes sure you follow it by showing you how much spending money you have after factoring in your required expenses and financial goals. You’ll know at a glance whether that new Roomba you’ve been eyeing will blow your budget.
[RELATED: More Financial Resources From MOAA]
Unfortunately, seniors are often the target of scams, fraud, and identity theft, which can wipe out accounts in short order. Designed specifically for seniors, the EverSafe app protects your finances through extensive monitoring of all your accounts. By becoming familiar with your historical financial behavior, this app will alert you (and anyone in your circle of trust) to any irregular activity, allowing you to take swift action.
There’s nothing more annoying than having to pay a late fee, so let the Prism app track your bills and pay them (on time!) for you. You can plan payments weeks ahead of time, like that twice-a-year life insurance payment that’s so easy to forget. The app can even pull due dates and balances automatically for over 11,000 billers across the country.
Your investment accounts, no doubt, play an integral role in your golden years. The Personal Capital app lets you manage all your investments in one place. It acts as a second set of eyes by assessing your risk, analyzing fees, and letting you know when you’re portfolio’s out of whack compared with your goals.
These are just a handful of the hundreds of apps out there to help you with your finances. Choose the ones that best suit your needs and capabilities. Although many apps are free, some do charge a nominal fee.
Before diving into these or any other financial app, it might be wise to visit Ready, Set, Bank. This website is designed to help seniors gain confidence using technology to manage their finances.
Vera Wilson is freelance writer based in North Carolina. She frequently writes on financial topics.