Choosing the Best Credit Card in Retirement: Are You Swiping the Right Card?
Talk about loyalty — a whopping 25 million consumers have been using the same credit card for at least 10 years. Another 20 million have never changed their preferred card. But sticking with your favorite card is not always a good thing, especially when it may not be keeping pace with your changing lifestyle and financial goals — for example, when you retire.
Think about your values, goals and spending habits for a minute. With more than 1,000 credit cards to choose from, you could be using the wrong one for your current needs and wants.
There’s definitely not a single credit card that suits everyone. Choosing the right one starts by determining what type of spender you are:
The frequent traveler. According to AARP, 99% of baby boomers will travel at least once this year. If this includes you, you might consider a card that help you earn rewards for your travels. Like a frequent-flier program, a rewards credit card gives you points that you can redeem for free airline tickets, hotel stays and upgrades like free checked baggage or car rentals.
But since the value of reward points isn’t fixed, it’s hard to pinpoint their actual cash worth. And when it comes to redeeming them, you may have to deal with blackout dates and time restrictions that don’t fit your travel plans.
The cash-back seeker. If you love a good deal, cash-back credit cards offer rebates on purchases, ranging from one to five percent of the purchase price. The downside? These cards typically restrict you to a particular type of spending, like restaurant charges or gas station swipes.
Cards can change their terms every few months, so you have to stay in-the-know to ensure you’re reaping as many benefits as possible.
The balance carrier. Approximately 1 in 11 Americans have credit card debt that they don’t think they’ll ever completely be rid of. If you fall in this category, a no-fee, zero percent introductory rate balance-transfer card may be your best bet. Keep in mind, while the zero percent interest on your transferred balance can offer a tremendous savings, it may not apply to new purchases you make on the card.
The “last resort” user. Only want to break out the credit card in an emergency? Then you don’t want to pay a lot for a card that you’re not using regularly. Choose a card with no (or a low) annual fee and a high spending limit. And if the card offers any type of rewards, all the better.
Give yourself a little credit
Credit cards can provide much-needed reward benefits and financial flexibility in an emergency, but consistently maintaining a healthy financial lifestyle doesn’t mean you can live beyond your means. To ensure you have the funds to cover the comfortable retirement lifestyle you've envisioned, it’s important to weigh your options for managing and alleviating debt.
If you’re a homeowner or homebuyer age 62 and older, a reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows you to borrow against the equity in your home, and in doing so, it provides funds that you can use today, or a line of credit that’s waiting for you when you find yourself in need of extra funds — for example, unexpected healthcare or home repair costs.
It's a lot like a regular home equity loan or or home equity line of credit, but with certain advantages that make it more suited for older homeowners who are considering retirement or working part-time.
A reverse mortgage loan can also help delay the need to tap into interest- or dividend-yielding retirement funds, while you retain ownership of your home and gain more control over your finances. As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keeping current with your property taxes, insurance and maintenance.
Is a reverse mortgage right for you?
There are so many new experiences to look forward to in retirement — without doing damage to your savings or your credit score. Find out how a reverse mortgage from Reverse Mortgage Funding might help you enjoy the years ahead. Give us a call at (888) 277-1567 to set up a convenient phone appointment with an experienced loan specialist.
This content is sponsored by RMF, one of the nation’s leading reverse mortgage lenders. We are dedicated to helping older Americans retire more freely, in the comfort of their own homes. As a result of our commitment to providing an extraordinary and positive customer experience, we have earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating; a 5-star / Excellent score on Trustpilot; 4.8 out of 5 stars on LendingTree; and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Call (888) 277-1567 to speak with one of our experienced reverse mortgage specialists to learn about our retirement financing products and solutions.
SEE WHAT FUNDS YOU MAY HAVE AVAILABLE
If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.
This information is intended for those who are interested in financial education. This information is provided for convenience only, and RMF make no warranties concerning the accuracy or completeness of any of the information. Information is subject to change without notice, and RMF is under no obligation to provide updated information. Materials or statements made by a third party and located or posted on the Site are those of the third party and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RMF. This is not financial, tax, compliance or legal advice and should not be taken or relied upon as such. Each individual should consult with his/her financial, tax, or legal professional. All mortgage origination services are provided by Reverse Mortgage Funding LLC, a state licensed mortgage lender, which is licensed or otherwise exempt from state licensing in the states in which it originates mortgage loans.