Guide finances for seniors

Sensible insurances for seniors – the most important insurances for the retirement age

Most people deal with the topic of insurance after the conclusion of the contract as good as no more. At most, the annual debit from the bank account reminds the policyholder that he or she has household, liability or other insurance coverage. As long as the status as an employee is maintained, there is little reason to change his insurance coverage. At most, the comparison and possible change to cheaper providers can be done regularly.

The change from employment to retirement means a big change in almost all areas of life. When it comes to insurance, it may be worth your while to check the benefits of the policies you have taken out. Not all insurance policies that are important for working people make sense in retirement.

Potential savings – time to clean up

If retirement is not far off, you should gather your records of all the insurance policies you have taken out and check each insurance company for added value with regard to your upcoming retirement. Due to cancellation periods or minimum terms, early action can reflect positively on your account.
Occupational disability or daily sickness allowance insurances are no longer necessary after retirement. As an employee certainly a good investment, you can now do without it completely. Continuing a life insurance policy should also be reconsidered; a payout and reinvestment can offer much more value.

Liability insurance – a lifelong companion

For just about every German citizen, liability insurance is one of the most important insurance policies of all. Depending on the scope, claims caused in everyday life are covered with a sum insured of up to 5 million euros. Age does not matter, even for you as a senior, private liability insurance is essential.

Still, adjusting to your new living situation may be worthwhile. An add-on such as bad debt coverage provides for your compensation should you be injured and the causer of the damage does not have suitable coverage.

Furthermore, it is important to check whether dependents such as children are still covered by your contract. If this is the case but no longer necessary, savings can also be made here by changing the tariff.

Car insurance – obligatory for drivers

Mobility plays a major role even in retirement age. For many, the car is the best way to get from A to B. Especially the flexibility and convenience make the motor vehicle for seniors the first choice, therefore the motor vehicle insurance for car owners in retirement is also necessary. Whether you choose comprehensive or partial coverage, or just liability insurance, depends on your own financial possibilities. Value and age of the vehicle are also decisive.

Great savings potential is offered for you with the mileage. If the daily way to work was done by car, it can pay off to adjust the mileage in the insurance contract downwards. At the same time, if you use your car less frequently, the question arises whether your existing full or partial coverage insurance is still necessary.

Foreign travel health insurance – essential as a traveling senior citizen

Many seniors take advantage of the time freed up in retirement to go on trips. A foreign health insurance is just as necessary as an employee, if not even more important. The greatest attention should be paid to comprehensive protection and the guarantee of uninterrupted care, because cases of illness abroad always pose an increased risk of complications, depending on the travel destination. Special attention should be paid to a travel repatriation insurance, which brings you back to Germany within a few hours in case of emergency, either as an additional option in the foreign health insurance or as a stand-alone policy.

Comparing different providers can pay off for you, the premiums differ considerably in some cases. It cannot be denied that older people generally have to pay higher premiums. The age limit is fluid and varies from provider to provider.

Home contents and residential buildings insurance – absolutely recommended if you own property

In addition to private liability insurance, it also makes sense to have household and homeowners insurance if you own valuable items or your own home. The risk of material possessions being damaged by environmental or external influences is not the rule but still possible. Coverage prevents your pension from being burdened with large amounts of money for repairs or new purchases.

Make sure that your contract sufficiently covers the existing objects or real estate, in case of a too low coverage amount only a part of the incurred expenses will be covered.

Private nursing care insurance – a sensible cover in individual cases

Nobody likes to think about the topic of care, but at the latest when you enter retirement, you should give some thought to this troublesome area of life. Private long-term care insurance becomes important when the state subsidies are no longer sufficient to cover the full costs. The insurance company compensates the missing amounts for the full payment of the professional service providers.
There are several types, the best known is the daily care allowance, it corresponds largely to the daily sickness allowance for employees and pays out a certain daily rate to you as the policyholder depending on the care level.

The decision about a supplementary insurance in the area of care should be made as early as possible, because the amount of the premium depends largely on your age and state of health.

The right financial advisor for you as a pensioner – good things take time

If you browse the Internet or follow the news, you hear time and again about seniors and retirees who have completely lost large parts of their assets through bad investments. In the rarest cases, they are responsible for this misery themselves, because who has never dealt with investments or deeper financial matters in his life, will not do so overnight in retirement age. In most cases, advisors and agents who sell financial services are responsible for these missteps. Unsuitable products or investment packages, risky investments and a lack of overview can cause assets to shrink very quickly.

The following guide will help you find a professional financial advisor who is right for you personally.

Time is money – in the opposite sense

One thing in advance, it is not wrong if you have assets and want to invest or invest them to secure your retirement, but you should take your time in doing so. Turn away financial advisors who make you a large number of offers in a short time or insist on signing a contract.

If you feel fit enough, inform yourself about the basic laws and rules that govern the investment market. Follow trends, stock prices and different markets like real estate or commodities. The aim is to gain a certain basic knowledge, not to take the investment into one's own hands, but to be able to ask specific and to-the-point questions when giving advice. With a little knowledge, you can guess what your financial advisor's goals are and if there is a certain level of professionalism. If you do not trust yourself with this task, do not go to the consultation alone, but have someone you trust accompany you.

How much and where to invest – set clear goals for yourself

Before you go to a financial advisor, be clear about the goal of your investment. Do you want to increase your pension, create something long-term for children and grandchildren, or generate selective profits through targeted investments?? Write down your goals and conditions and take the notes with you to the consultation appointment. A professional financial advisor will gradually address the points noted and answer questions and ambiguities in a solution-oriented manner, explain technical terms and in no case push you to a conclusion.

Obtain information about the financial advisor – on the Internet you can find everything

If a financial advisor or a credit institution approaches you and makes you an offer, first look for information about the salesperson themselves. The Internet is a good place to get reviews, opinions and experiences about a person or company. The World Wide Web has become as much a part of everyday life for seniors as it is for the younger generation. If you do not have internet access or experience, ask children, grandchildren or acquaintances for help in finding information.

Note that information on the Internet does not always have to correspond to the truth. The WWW is nevertheless very suitable for creating an approximate picture of the consultant, the company, or the bank. The available information allows first conclusions to be drawn about the professionalism and skill of the financial advisor.

Fee or commission – what does it mean and which is better?

As a rule, financial advisors are paid on a commission basis. This means that for each concluded contract they receive a certain amount, which is based on the amount of the contract, as payment. The more products or packages the advisor sells, the more he earns. With investment sums of several tens or hundreds of thousands of euros, the income is very good with a high number of sales.

The flip side of the coin is that many financial advisors and bank employees take advantage of the ignorance and low resilience, especially of older people, to massively increase their sales figures and thus their earnings. The goal is not to provide the client with the best investment or asset package, but to sell a completely unsuitable and risky but personally very lucrative product through technical words, fast speech, exuberant sympathy and unrealistic profit prospects. Nevertheless, payment on a commission basis does not allow a blanket statement to be made about the professionalism of a financial advisor.

Financial advisors who are paid on a fee basis will bill you for the time you spend advising them. The cost can be up to 250 euros per hour, but the advisor does not receive any remuneration for concluding a contract. This has the advantage that no sales pressure arises, which positively influences the earnings. You can be sure that the financial advisor will take enough time to educate you on details and ambiguities. Make sure, however, that the consultation is not dragged out by a multitude of offers.

The home buying guide for seniors – owning a home in retirement

The dream of owning your own home is not only a dream for young people and families; pensioners and senior citizens are also enthusiastic about the possibility of owning their own property. The reasons are many, out of the narrow city dwelling, purely into the countryside and the peace of a rural area enjoy. If you have sufficient equity, financing a property can undercut the monthly cost of a rental property. Buying a home is a not inconsiderable investment that wants to be well thought out. From the following guide, you can see what you need to consider so that the purchase of a home does not go wrong and end in chaos.

Step 1 – the financial question

Before buying a property the clarification of the own financial situation is pending. The result decides which and whether you can afford a home at all. In addition to the one-time financial outlay, there are also the running costs of a building. If you don't have any experience with houses, keep in mind that the costs for energy, water and maintenance are often much higher than for a rental or condominium apartment.

If you have sufficient equity, through life insurance payouts or savings, you can take advantage of these assets when taking out a loan. Unlike younger people, you have an unconditional income that cannot be lost due to unemployment or illness. At the same time, reinvesting the assets in a property can reduce the loan amount, thus lowering the term, interest burden and monthly installments. A good financing option is a mortgage loan.

Step 2 – plan for the future

No one can prevent getting older, with the right planning for your home you can make it as comfortable and easy as possible for yourself. When choosing objects, pay attention to easy accessibility of all important places on the property and in the house.

Conversions towards accessibility should also be easy to do. Spacious rooms, wide staircases, and an open floor plan make it less complicated and less expensive to equip your everyday tools.
Depending on mobility, it is advisable to choose a property with important places such as grocery stores, banks and post offices in its vicinity. The availability of public transportation can increase the radius of freedom of movement.

Step 3 – find suitable objects

The largest number of offers can be found on the Internet. Real estate exchanges and tenders make it easier to find a suitable home, but you still need to be proactive. Contact with the broker or seller, viewing appointments and possible price negotiations as well as going to the notary are completely in your hands.
It's easier to hire a consultant who picks out properties tailored to your needs, thereby taking a lot of the work off your hands.

Step 4 – the inspection

If a suitable object is selected, the inspection date takes place. First and foremost, they need to feel comfortable in the object. But your pure intuition is not everything, ask critical questions about the structural condition, about the heating and thermal insulation systems and their future viability. Ask to see important documents such as energy performance certificates, title deeds, a summary of the technical details of the property and any expert reports. The inspection duration should amount to approximately 20 minutes, with longer stay the feeling of the first impression is lost.

Mornings during the week are particularly suitable as a period for sightseeing. At this time, you get the best impression of the property through daylight and can get a picture of the everyday happenings around the property. Pay attention to the usability and accessibility of the rooms, are sanitary facilities on the first floor and are important places such as living room, bedroom and bathroom designed for possible conversions.

The condition of the object also plays an important role. Clarify with the broker or seller any renovations or repairs before the purchase and find an agreement on who has to pay for it. If in doubt, call in an external surveyor to inspect critical areas such as windows, insulation and the roof and uncover any defects.

Step 5 – the purchase

Once the decision has been made and you have decided on a property, you enter the final phase of buying real estate. The walk will lead you together with the seller to a notary who will prepare bureaucratic matters such as the change in the land register and the purchase contract.

Do not arrive too early for the appointment. A longer stay in the waiting room or in the office could encourage the seller to renegotiate with you in the last 10 minutes in order to achieve a higher purchase price. The notary will subsequently provide the contracts for signature. The money is released to the seller, in return you will then receive the keys and the existing documentation for your new home.

Credit cards for seniors – the right one among many

Credit cards still have a certain niche existence in Germany. Only about one third of all German citizens have this means of payment, which is very few in an international comparison. Thereby the credit card can massively facilitate many payment transactions. For seniors, cashless payment transactions can be a convenient alternative to traditional means of payment, especially abroad or on the Internet can benefit from the simplicity.

Different types of cards and fees – an overview

The number of different credit cards is large. In addition to the traditional credit institutions, there are a large number of other companies that offer different models.

Prepaid: the prepaid credit card works like a cell phone card. Before you can use them, they must load the account of the card with a certain amount. This option provides the best cost control over your expenses.

Debit: the credit card is directly linked to your current account, the amounts spent are debited directly.

Charge: At the end of each month the collected payments are debited from your account at once.

Revolving: By paying in installments over a longer period of time, amounts are debited from the linked checking account until the loan amount is repaid. This may involve high interest rates. By making a one-time payment, you can pay off the balance and avoid the high interest charge.

In terms of fees, the various cards differ sometimes significantly. A comparison is worthwhile in any case, because depending on the intended use, not inconsiderable sums can be saved when choosing the right credit card.

5 Credit cards in comparison – the right one for almost everyone

1. Barclaycard New Visa

Barclaycard offers the New Visa, a fee-free revolving type credit card. The card is applied for via the Internet, the Schufa check and an approval or rejection are carried out within a few minutes.

If the card is charged, you have up to 2 months to clear the balance, only then Barclaycard charges interest and the installment payment begins. On the positive side, there are no fees for cash withdrawals within the euro zone. Outside the EU, 1.99 percent of the sum is due, still very little in comparison. The Visa label guarantees worldwide usability, the card can be linked to your existing current account.

2. ICS Cards – Visa World Card

There are no annual fees for the Visa World Card from ICS. Revolving allows you to pay off the outstanding loan amount in installments, these are 2.5 percent of the outstanding amount, with a minimum of 20 euros. If the account is balanced by a one-time payment, there is no interest, otherwise it is about 14.85 percent. A one-time payment is therefore recommended. Furthermore, ATM usage fees n the amount of 1.85 or 2 percent of the turnover, depending on the usage in the EU or in other EU countries, apply. You can set the PIN yourself, continue to use your existing checking account. If you wish to receive a paper invoice, this costs 1 Euro per month, otherwise the invoices take place in the Internet portal. In addition, you can take out insurance that will cover you in the event of non-payment through no fault of your own.

3. DKB Bank – DKB Visa Card

With the DKB Visa Card there are also no annual fees. The application for this card is accompanied by the simultaneous opening of a current account. Fees for cash withdrawals at the counter amount to 3 percent of the turnover, but at least 5 euros; there are no fees at ATMs worldwide. In addition, you will receive a free partner card. The principle follows the charge, monthly you receive a credit card statement online or in paper form (1 Euro fee). The interest on the overdraft facility is 6.9 percent, for a balance up to 100.000 euros on the Visa Card, you will receive 0.4 percent interest.

4. Advanzia Bank – Master Card Gold free of charge

The Master Card Gold of the Advanzia Bank is a fee-free revolving card. To clear the balance, you have up to 7 weeks, after which 22.90 percent interest on cash withdrawals and 19.94 percent interest on purchases will accrue on the credit amount. What is special is that the interest depends on your credit rating. In the case of a lump-sum payment, these are not applicable. There are no fees for cash withdrawals worldwide, and paper invoices are also free of charge. When traveling, you will receive free travel insurance if you pay at least 50 percent of the transportation costs with the Master Card Gold.

5. Hanseatic Bank – GenialCard

Hanseatic Bank's no-fee GenialCard follows the revolving principle. Partial payments of the loan amount accrue 16.90 percent interest on the turnover, a one-time payment is interest-free and is debited directly from your checking account. Switching between partial and lump-sum payments is possible at any time. The disposal limit is up to 2500 euros, a part can be transferred directly online without using the card to the current account. The decision to grant or refuse is made immediately when applying online. There is no minimum turnover, for spending abroad 1.75 percent of the sum is due as a fee, at ATMs 3 percent but at least 5.95 euros.

The right investment for seniors – how to find it

Retirement usually goes hand in hand with life or endowment insurance payouts. After that, you will usually find several tens or even around 100.000 Euro on the account again. Actually a reason to the joy for you, because a stately sum on the account calms the financial conscience uncommonly. 20-30 years ago it was no problem to leave your money in a call or time deposit account, high interest rates and compound interest generated good returns.

The volatility of the capital market, several financial crises and bank failures in 2006-2016 have had a negative impact on this form of investment. Interest rates between 0.01 and 0.05 percent are no longer enough to offset inflation, let alone generate profits. To avoid a creeping loss, you need to actively search to find the right investment for yourself in retirement.

First step to investing money – get an overview

On the way to the right investment of your capital, you must first get an overview of your financial situation. Create a balance sheet noting income, expenses and savings, as well as free capital. Consider whether any additional major purchases, travel or expenses are necessary or planned. Check whether there is potential for savings on insurance (link to article) and taxes (link to article), for example. This will give you an overview of how much of your money can be invested, because depending on the sum, the investment options differ in terms of their profitability.

Define your goals – what do you want to achieve with the system?

Consider what goal you want to achieve with your equipment. This influences whether capital should be invested safely or risky, short or long term, broadly spread or concentrated.

The visit to a financial advisor can help you not only to find the right investment strategy, but also to become clear about your goals, which you want to achieve.

Time changes everything – in the meantime, personal initiative is required

In general, the majority of seniors tend to safe investments, the amount of work is low, the risk of losing the assets also. The downside is the low return, which cannot cover the increased capital requirements due to increasing life expectancy, or worse, cannot compensate for inflation. The changes in the capital markets make a great deal of personal initiative indispensable in today's world.

To find the right investment in retirement, you need to become aware of the different investment options, with or without a financial advisor. The Internet offers probably the largest collection of knowledge you can acquire. An approximate knowledge of the numerous investment options can already give you some investment direction. A look at current technical literature or trustworthy sources will additionally deepen your knowledge and help in the final decision-making process.

At the same time, you should follow the relevant areas of the capital and economic markets in order to be able to react to strong changes in time or, in case of doubt, to pursue a different investment strategy.
The effort is not to be underestimated, but still doable. You should not become a financial specialist and spend weeks or months studying all the technical literature, but should know about your investment strategy and be able to react if necessary.

The risk – one of the most difficult decisions

The question of how risky you want to invest your capital depends not only on your return target, but also on your financial possibilities. The fact is, if you want to get a good return, you have to take a higher risk. If you benefit from a good state pension and other income, losses from investment transactions can be absorbed more easily than if this is just enough to cover your living expenses. Consider how much of a loss you can afford and factor that into your decision on which investment is right for you.

Conclusion – Effort equals return

The profit you can make from your investments depends largely on the amount of work you do. It is undisputed that this has increased over the last 30 years. In the meantime, in order to find the right investment as a senior citizen, you need to study the matter in depth and be aware of your current situation.

Credit from 65 – what you have to consider as a pensioner?

The credit business in Germany is booming. Many people use loans to invest in real estate, cars, other valuables or luxury goods. Traditional banks, Internet credit houses or credit exchanges on the Internet offer a large number of offers. The average borrower is employed and between 30 and 45 years old. But even you as a pensioner may find yourself in a situation where a loan is unavoidable or your investment plans make borrowing money unavoidable.

What types of credit are available – earmarked or not?

Loans generally fall into two broad groups. Earmarked or free to use. Earmarked loans are primarily for the purchase of material valuables. The purpose of the loan is stated in the loan agreement, and the borrower is obligated not to use the money for any other purpose. The sense results from the equivalent value of the acquired objects. These are collateral for the creditor, which serves as compensation in case of credit default. Loans of this type are given primarily for the purchase of real estate, motor vehicles or luxury goods.

Loans for free disposal are often lightning or fast loans, which are given for the settlement of bills and other urgent payments.
Repairs to the house and motor vehicle can rarely be postponed because of the threat of cuts in everyday life. In the absence of a corresponding counterpart, the conditions and consequences of default are much more severe than in the case of an existing counterpart.

Requirements – the same for everyone except retirees

If you want to take out a loan as a pensioner, you will quickly notice that special rules apply to you when granting it. In general, a perfect Schufa, a regular income and the absence of other open loans are basic requirements for a successful commitment. Depending on the type of loan, different terms and loan amounts are possible.

For you as a pensioner, especially over 65, borrowing can become a problem. At the same time, you in particular have one of the most secure incomes of all with the statutory and any other private and company pensions. Still, almost all lenders see retired people 65 and older as high-risk customers rather than a special target group.

In contrast to the young or middle-aged, statistically speaking, from the age of 65 onwards, they accumulate. Year of life Sickness and death. Banks and credit providers take these increased probabilities as a basis and use them to calculate a massively increased risk of default. From 75. borrowing is virtually impossible when you reach the age of.
Nevertheless, taking out a loan is not impossible, depending on your personal financial situation and the type of loan, a commitment can still be made if you consider a few points.

Flash Schufa – nothing works without it

Since you belong as a pensioner from 65 unfavorably already to a risk group, a flawless Schufa is more important than ever. If you have never had problems in the credit business or as a debtor, there should be no problems. With negative Schufa entries, the probability of receiving a commitment immediately drops to zero, as you combine two danger groups in one person. At the latest, you are eliminated as a reliable borrower during the internal review and classification in a rating table.

Loan type – collateral makes it easier

If you as a borrower have material valuables, you can show them as collateral to the bank or creditor. This not only results in more favorable terms, but also increases the likelihood of receiving a positive loan approval at around age 65. This also applies to earmarked loans, as the purchase automatically serves as a liability item.

Note that in the case of lightning or instant loans, as well as loans that are not earmarked for a specific purpose, tangible items are not accepted, or are accepted only very rarely. The administrative burden and the time component to obtain the necessary documents are simply too high and contradict the essence of fast processing and payment.

Guarantees – a guarantor makes it easier

If you can use a guarantor, such as your children, grandchildren or relatives and acquaintances at a younger age, the risk of default decreases significantly, and lending to you becomes more likely. Pay attention not only to your own creditworthiness, but also that of the guarantor, who must step in as a debtor in an emergency.

Nevertheless, compare the offers – it is worth it

If you apply for and are approved for a loan as a 65+ retiree, keep in mind that you will still have to pay a higher interest burden and installment than the average borrower. Depending upon offerer the conditions differ additionally substantially. Set yourself an exact payment plan in terms of term and amount, borrowing more money than necessary should be avoided.
Loan default insurance protects you and especially your dependents in the event of illness, default or death.

Beware of dubious offers – special senior loans do not exist

If you come across special loans on the Internet that are supposedly suitable for seniors, don't go into it further. There are simply no loans that are tailored to the target group that you represent.

Is a per diem account suitable for seniors? – an analysis

The investment options for seniors are extremely diverse. Bank withdrawal plans, government bonds, stocks, real estate or savings bonds represent only a small part of the options. In addition, a call money account is another investment option for pensioners. For which senior citizens it is worthwhile depends on your own economic situation, as well as on the overall state of the capital market. Interest rates and their stability are decisive for risk, return and give information about the success or non-success of the investment.

The essence of the overnight deposit account – flexibility and risk

Free financial resources are deposited in a daily allowance account, which generates interest income at fixed intervals. Depending on the provider, this can be monthly, quarterly or annually. The amount of interest on the sum can be changed daily by the bank and depends primarily on the key interest rate of the European Central Bank.

With short interest rates and high percentages, the effect of compound interest can have a strong positive impact on the credit balance. At low interest rates of between 0.5 and 1 percent, this effect is hardly noticeable, if at all.

Unlike a time deposit account or savings account, where interest rates are usually fixed for one year, the risk of low returns due to interest rate collapses is very high. In the worst case, the returns are not enough to compensate for the inflation rate. The speed of demonetization is higher than the increase of capital, loss is the result.

Advantageous is the high flexibility to dispose of the money at any time. In the meantime, most overnight deposit accounts are online-based, transfers can be executed on any banking day, and the costs for administration and personnel are eliminated. The higher risk of loss is countered by the possibility of a large, high-frequency return, if the situation on the capital market permits it.

Minimum deposits and notice periods do not exist, the call money account corresponds to a current account except for the overdraft facility, sometimes even with EC card.

How risk-averse are you – or can you be as a retiree

The question of whether a call money account is suitable for you is influenced by several relevant factors. At the beginning there is the question of your own risk tolerance. Due to the large fluctuation of interest rates, high returns can be achieved, in return, losses must be accepted when interest rates fall. Ask yourself whether your financial means allow investments with increased risk at all.
If your income and savings are just enough to support yourself, the available capital should be invested as safely as possible and for the long term. Savings accounts or time deposit accounts are a more suitable investment. This also applies if the additional income is necessary to ensure sufficient basic security in the first place.

If you have a sufficiently high pension and larger sums from a paid-out life insurance policy at your disposal, it may be worthwhile to put some of the money in a call money account. Savings goals can be achieved well with overnight deposit accounts. If a journey is planned, the new acquisition of a passenger car or a new interior decoration you can obtain a good net yield apart from the regular money entrance on the daily money account at the same time. Due to the interest paid out, the required sum can be reached more quickly. Unplanned expenses can be dealt with quickly as money is available at all times.

The right call money account for you – a comparison is worthwhile

In addition to traditional credit institutions, most internet banks provide a daily deposit account. In order to attract new customers, many financial institutions offer interest fixing for three to six months. This allows you to benefit from fixed interest rates in the initial period of the overnight deposit, which are significantly above the level of savings accounts or time deposit accounts. After that, the interest rate aligns with the prevailing level.
In order to be able to profit further from high interest rates, a change of the daily money account is possible. Non-existent notice periods make the selection of a new offer simple and quick.

Conclusion – is a call account suitable as an investment for seniors?

If you are a pensioner with sufficient financial means, investing part of them in a call account is a sensible investment. The biggest profits can be made by fixing the interest for several months. If you plan to travel or pursue high-cost hobbies during retirement, the overnight account may prove to be a better alternative to other savings accounts, provided you take care to regularly reallocate your assets as interest rates approach lower levels for existing customers.

Unexpected costs or financially costly situations such as cures, hospital stays or injuries and treatments abroad can be settled directly through constant availability, without financial bottlenecks or the need to take out expensive loans.

The account especially for seniors – a comparison

The checking account is now as much a part of everyday life for seniors as it is for any other citizen. In contrast to the credit problem, many banks have adapted to the target group of seniors and pensioners. No account maintenance fees and complementary daily or fixed deposit accounts allow retirees to conveniently invest larger sums of money without having to be a customer at a multitude of different credit institutions. Convenient online banking and EC cards are now just as important to many seniors as personal service at the bank counter.
In this comparison you will find an overview of different current account providers, which are suitable for you in retirement.

5 current accounts in the comparison – on the personal requirements it depends

1. 1822direkt – current account

The current account of 1822direkt GmbH is already available from a monthly credit without account management fees. This condition is already fulfilled for you as a senior citizen by your monthly pension receipt. 1822direkt GmbH is a subsidiary of Sparkasse Frankfurt; you will receive a Sparkassencard as your EC card and can withdraw cash free of charge from all suitable ATMs. This also applies to other European countries. In supermarkets with cash service, withdrawal is possible from 20 euros purchase value. The overdraft interest rate is 7.43 percent. The additional credit card offered is free of charge from an annual turnover of 4000 euros.
There are no fees for transfers via the Internet, standing orders, account statements, online and telephone banking. Check deposits are charged at 2.50 euros, transfers by voice computer and telephone at 1.50 euros.

2. netbank – current account

netbank is a subsidiary of Augsburger Aktienbank AG and offers a free current account for seniors. The netbank girocard allows fee-free cash withdrawals at ATMs of the CashPool Group, which includes almost all credit institutions in Germany, except savings banks and credit unions. Only for the current account balance via SMS 1.50 euros per month must be paid, the EC card is free due to your regular pension receipt. The linked call money account has a variable interest rate, the interest rate is around 0.01 percent. The overdraft facility is charged 8 percent interest when used. In addition, they can choose between a MasterCard Classic or Platinum and a prepaid credit card. If you are traveling abroad a lot, the Platinum version offers additional insurance options.

3. norisbank GmbH – Top current account

There are no account maintenance fees for you as a pensioner for the top current account of norisbank GmbH. The EC card allows cash to be withdrawn free of charge from CashGroup ATMs, which include norisbank itself, Commerzbanken, HypoVereinsbanken, Deutsche and Postbanken. For cash deposit you can use the ATMs of Deutsche Bank. The current account can be combined with a call money account, the credit balance is variably remunerated with about 0.20 percent interest. The distribution takes place quarterly, the existing amounts are available daily. The opening and management is done online, if you have sufficient creditworthiness you will receive a MasterCard.

4. Deutsche Postbank AG – Postbank Giro Plus

The Postbank Giro Plus account is free of charge in the first month with a monthly cash inflow of 1000 euros or more. After that, a flat rate of 3.90 euros is charged. Postbank attaches great importance to the online management of the account. An Internet portal and apps for all common smartphones (iOS, Android, Windows) increase flexibility and overview of your financial status. Bank transfers and standing orders have also been embraced by digitization, and such transactions do not require a branch visit. The terms and conditions of the call money account are variable, credit balances earn interest at around 0.01 percent. 0,99 Euro for the transfer by voucher, 0,90 Euro for the monthly sending of account statements. Overdraft facility and tolerated overdraft carry interest rates of 10.55 and 15.95 percent, respectively. The VisaCard is free of charge in the first year, from the second 29 euros are due.

5. comdirekt bank AG – Current account

Account management fees do not arise, irrespective of the monthly cash inflow to the comdirect bank Ag current account. Also based online, you have the option of controlling your entire payment transactions via the Internet; you can set the pin for your EC card yourself. Since comdirect bank AG is a subsidiary of Commerzbank, you can withdraw cash free of charge from ATMs at this bank and its partners in the Cash Group. Interest rates for overdraft are 8.95 percent, for tolerated overdraft 13.45. In addition, you have a free call money account (interest around 0.1 percent, variable) and a securities account. If your credit rating allows you to apply for a VisaCard, it is also free of charge. In case of questions and problems, a customer service is available around the clock, 7 days a week.

Mortgage guide for seniors – financial path to home ownership

For many Germans, one or more properties are the retirement provision par excellence. The majority of the population is with the procurement of the home of one's own between the 30. and 45. Year of life employed. Through a certain amount of equity and a loan, real estate is purchased or newly built. If you have not yet considered home ownership, but have sufficient funds when you retire, the idea of an age-appropriate retirement home can be realized simply by taking out a mortgage loan.

The mortgage itself – a little basic knowledge

The word mortgage comes from the Greek and means translated Unterpfand. In the capital business, the mortgage represents a real estate lien; when taken out, the creditor is granted a co-ownership right to the acquired property or land. Unlike a normal loan, the mortgage, even if the loan is earmarked, is even more closely linked to the property. The mortgage lender is registered as co-owner of the building in the land register. The note remains even after repayment of the debt, an erasable receipt of the bank after payment proves the debt freedom of the mortgagee.

Mortgage or loan – an important question for you as a senior citizen

Before you can even think about buying a property, you need to check whether your financial situation allows the purchase at all. Often the nevertheless luxuriant amounts from life or capital insurances are not sufficient, in order to finance the home of one's own completely and without assistance. The standard route via a loan can become a problem for you as a pensioner, especially over 65. Read more about this in the article Loans (insert link).

Mortgages can be a good alternative if you have enough equity and want to invest in a property. If the available capital is about 45 – 50 percent of the purchase price of the building, you have good prospects of getting a mortgage loan from the bank. The purpose of the mortgage is directly linked to the purchase of the property, the bank is a co-owner until the debt is settled. This extremely large security for the creditor often results in more favorable conditions than with loans.

Conditions and terms – what is common?

The term and amount of the installments depends largely on the mortgage amount as well as your financial capacity. Interest rates result from the situation of the money and capital markets, generally they range between 2.5 and 4 percent, relatively favorable compared to a normal real estate loan. The term can be determined to a certain extent yourself, 20 – 30 years are the rule.

Advantages of mortgage financing – significant cost reduction

Moving into a mortgage financed home can mean massive cost savings for you. Rents for apartments or houses have become increasingly expensive, especially in cities and densely populated areas. Purchasing a home initially means a large investment and usually debt. In times of low interest rates, however, it is hardly worthwhile for you to invest free capital in fixed deposit accounts or savings books. In conjunction with a mortgage and moving into a home, you can cut exorbitant rent prices by up to half. Of course, this does not apply across the board to all places of residence in Germany, a close examination of the rental prices, as well as obtaining a mortgage offer are mandatory.

Consequences in case of default – make sure to pay on time

Default is very unlikely with a state pension and additional income. If you still fall behind with the installments, you face penalties of varying severity, depending on the provider. These can range from reminders and additional fees to penalties and even foreclosure of the property. Since the creditor is a co-owner of the property and usually about half of the value is covered by your own financial resources, the chance of the bank to recover the full mortgage amount is very high, even if the building is sold below market value.

In the event of death, the mortgage contract is either transferred to your direct heirs, who, as legal successors, are obligated to fulfill the contract to the end when the inheritance takes place. In the event of a disclaimer or lack of heirs, the property is usually sold by the bank in order to settle the outstanding mortgage amount.

Tax saving tips for seniors – a wide range of options

Since 2004, seniors and pensioners are also liable to pay taxes like normal employees. With the entry into force of the Retirement Income Act, tax must be paid on all income above the gross exemption limit. Until 2015, this amounted to 8472 euros for singles and 16.944 euros for married couples, from 2016 allowances of 8652, respectively 17 apply.304 Euro.

When you retire, your local tax office will ask you to file a tax return, in which you must truthfully declare your income. In addition to the state pension, this includes income such as rental and capital income, Riester and company pensions, as well as salaries and wages from continued employment relationships.

The amount by which the allowance is exceeded serves as the basis for determining the tax burden. The easiest way to save taxes is to claim deductible expenses, which reduces your income tax calculation base. The following tips will help you to legally reduce your contributions to the state with little effort.

Income-related expenses – the commuter allowance for seniors

The best-known example of deductible income-related expenses is the commuter allowance. Upon termination, this ceases to apply, but the tax office will still deduct a lump sum of 102 euros as income-related expenses from your taxable income when you file your tax return. You can increase the total of your income-related expenses by completing Annex R and enclosing invoices. You can do this if, for example, you use a tax or pension consultant or pay union dues. Furthermore, this includes costs for the current account, loan interest for back-paid pension contributions or legal advice costs in pension matters.

special expenses – often higher than 36 euros

The item special expenses reduces your taxable income by a lump sum of 36 euros a year. Pension expenses can greatly increase this amount, the calculation may be very complex.

Divided into retirement and other pension expenses. The first category includes contributions to Rurup pensions, occupational pension schemes and agricultural pension funds.

The second group includes contributions to health and long-term care insurance, accident, liability and life insurance, as well as pension and endowment insurance policies started before 2005.

From 2011, 72 percent of contributions for pension expenses could be deducted up to an amount of 20.000 euros for singles and 40.000 euros can be claimed for married couples. The percentage increases every year by two percentage points, until the year 2025. From then on, the full 100 percent of your expenses are deductible.

The other utility expenses are much lower in your allowances, only the expenses for basic care and health insurance are completely deductible in the area of special expenses.

Other special expenses to reduce tax

Domestic help

If you need household help for health reasons during your time as a pensioner, you can claim a maximum of 4000 euros per year as special expenses. The sum is calculated from deductible 20 percent of a maximum of 20.000 Euro. For this, the domestic help must be in an employment relationship subject to social insurance, which you must prove to the tax office.

Craftsmen

Necessary renovation and maintenance work on your real estate can also be claimed as special expenses. The maximum amount is one fifth of 6000 euros per year, which is 1200 euros by which your taxable income shrinks.

Donations, contributions and church taxes

The issue of donations and church tax varies in complexity depending on the amount. In general, donations, grants and membership fees to charitable associations and tax-privileged organizations as well as to scientific, ecclesiastical and cultural institutions can be claimed at a maximum of 20 percent of your total income.
Up to an amount of 200 euros, a simple bank transfer or cash deposit slip, bank statement or booking confirmation is sufficient. For associations exempt from corporate income tax, this simplified proof must be supplemented by a confirmation of tax exemption.

Larger sums must be documented by a donation receipt according to the official model, formerly donation receipt. The recipient will issue it to you or send it directly to the relevant tax office.

Extraordinary expenses – individual deductible expenses

Extraordinary expenses do not accrue to every taxpaying retiree. A lump sum does not exist, the deductible amounts result from your personal needs and situation.

For seniors, extraordinary burdens mainly relate to the costs incurred in the health and medical sector. Expenses for doctors and medical treatment, which exceed your financial possibilities, as well as cure and hospital stays can be asserted. The cost of drugs or medicines, which are not covered by health insurance, can also be declared.

Retirement allowance – depending on year of birth and year of retirement

If you generate further income in addition to the state pension, such as rental or additional income, you can claim the old-age relief amount. Similar to the pension allowance, part of the additional income is tax exempt. The amount of the allowance is calculated depending on their age, income ratio and pension start and can be up to 1000 euros.

Tax consultant or not – if in doubt, play it safe

If any of the above tax breaks apply to you, you should think about seeing a tax advisor. This can provide you with an error-free tax return optimized for savings. With little knowledge of the subject and its complexity, it is easy to make mistakes that may cost a lot of money. Optimally, the costs for the tax consultant can be deducted as income-related expenses.

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