Smart credit card use for older adults

As an older adult, it’s important to be smart about your credit card use. Retirement can be one of the happiest times of your life. You get to reap the rewards of your hard work and have the spare time to visit family and friends. But one of the challenges of retirement is increasing costs due to inflation. These credit card basics can help you enjoy a comfortable retirement.

Pay more than the minimum balance

If you have some credit card debt and you are only making the minimum payment each month, you may not even be covering interest. This means that your purchases end up costing considerably more than their ticket price. If you only pay the minimum balance, your debt will keep increasing and it could take years to get out of credit card debt. It may be difficult to come to terms with, but as an older adult you might want to consider what kind of legacy you are leaving your children. Make a commitment to yourself and your family to accelerate your payments and get out debt.

Limit your spending on credit

If you are retired, you may be living on a fixed income. If you rack up a balance on your credit card, you are going to have to figure out a way to fit the payments into your monthly budget. This can be difficult, especially when you consider the cost of healthcare and prescription medicines. Budget your money so that you can pay for things in cash and avoid paying your everyday expenses with a credit card.

Look for smart solutions before falling into credit card debt

If you are living on a fixed income, and you find that it is difficult to make ends meet, consider your options before you use your credit card. You may be a good candidate for a reverse mortgage -- a type of loan that turns your home equity into cash. Before you rack up charges on your credit card, talk to a financial planner about your options so you can make the most of your home equity and stay out of debt.



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