This week’s blog post in our “Financial Planter” series is written by Rebecca Lake, a Financial Services Professional.*
When you're retired or nearing retirement age, having enough money to sustain you once you leave the workforce behind is crucial. 64% of Americans polled in a 2016 Gallup survey said falling short in retirement was their number one financial concern.
While you could radically downsize your lifestyle or step up your savings rate, the secret to conquering your retirement fears may be easier than you might think. Technology offers plenty of possibilities for saving money and you don't have to be a digital guru to take advantage of them.
If you're a retiree or soon will be, here are seven free apps that can make managing your bottom line less stressful.
- Best app for managing your budget: Mint
Managing your budget in retirement is essential for making sure that your spending isn't straying too far off-course. Mint offers a comprehensive solution for tracking your expenses, mapping out your budget, paying bills and keeping tabs on your credit. That last one is especially important if you're planning to borrow money at some point in retirement. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for lower interest rates.
Speaking of rates, Mint allows you to do something else besides monitor your budget. You can also use the app to find savings on everything from to insurance to investment fees, or see at a glance which banks are offering the best interest rates on checking and savings accounts.
- Best app for finding cheap travel: Skyscanner
If travel features heavily in your retirement plans, keeping the cost as low as possible may be a priority. With Skyscanner, you can search for deals on flights, hotels and car rentals worldwide. Whether you want to go to Paris, Texas or Paris, France, Skyscanner can help you get there for less.
- Best app for discounts on almost anything: AARP
Joining AARP has its perks and chief among them is the ability to get discounts on things like travel, health care, entertainment, insurance and groceries. If you've got an AARP membership, you can access the AARP app for free to get deals on the go. For example, if your children pay an unexpected visit with the grandkids, you can log on to the app to find discounts for dinner at your favorite restaurant or movie tickets to your local theater.
- Best app for saving on prescriptions: GoodRX
Prescription drug costs can be a killer for retirees. While Medicare Part D may cover some of the bill, certain drugs may require you to pay something out-of-pocket. Fortunately, the GoodRX mobile app helps you find the lowest prices on prescription medications right from your mobile device. The app also features coupons and savings tips that could help you cut your medication costs even further.
- Best app for managing investments: Personal Capital
If you've spent years building up your investment portfolio, you need to be proactive about managing it in retirement. The Personal Capital app lets you do that and more. You can view your portfolio's performance, check your asset allocation, track your net worth and even monitor your spending so you know how quickly you're drawing down your savings. The app is free to use, which is much more budget-friendly than paying pricey fees to a professional investment advisor.
- Best app for doing your taxes on the cheap: TurboTax
Just because you stop working doesn't mean you can stop worrying about your taxes. You still have to report things like investment income and capital losses or gains in retirement. The TurboTax app makes it possible to manage your tax filing from your smartphone or tablet. You don't have to be a tax pro to use it and if you have a question that needs answering, you can get help from a live expert right through the app.
- Best app for avoiding credit card fraud: Prosper Daily
Identity theft is a serious threat at any age but retirees tend to be prime targets. If you're worried about your financial accounts being compromised, the Prosper Daily app may increase your peace of mind. This app monitors your linked bank and credit card accounts so you can easily see if there are any purchases you don't recognize, which may indicate fraud.
Finding ways to carve out savings in retirement doesn't have to mean undertaking a complete overhaul of your budget. Putting these and similar financial tools to work could be all you need to enjoy your retirement years without worries about money clouding your outlook.
*All content provided in this blog is supplied by Rebecca Lake and is for informational purposes only. Barclaycard makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
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