• Written by
    Lindsey Crossmier

    Lindsey Crossmier

    Financial Writer

    Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.

    Read More
  • Edited By
    Savannah Pittle
    Savannah Pittle, senior financial editor for RetireGuide

    Savannah Pittle

    Senior Financial Editor

    Savannah Pittle is a professional writer and content editor with over 16 years of professional experience across multiple industries. She has ghostwritten for entrepreneurs and industry leaders and been published in mediums such as The Huffington Post, Southern Living and Interior Appeal Magazine.

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  • Reviewed By
    Brandon Renfro, Ph.D., CFP®, RICP®, EA
    Brandon Renfro, RetireGuide Reviewer

    Brandon Renfro, Ph.D., CFP®, RICP®, EA

    Retirement and Social Security Expert

    Brandon Renfro is a Retirement and Social Security Expert and financial planner. He focuses on helping clients create a secure financial future in retirement and co-owns Belonging Wealth Management. He is also a former finance professor and writes for several publications.

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  • Published: April 17, 2023
  • Updated: May 16, 2023
  • 9 min read time
  • This page features 10 Cited Research Articles
Fact Checked
Fact Checked

A qualified expert reviewed the content on this page to ensure it is factually accurate, meets current industry standards and helps readers achieve a better understanding of retirement topics.

Cite Us
How to Cite RetireGuide.com's Article

APA Crossmier, L. (2023, May 16). Banking for Seniors: Managing Your Finances With Confidence. RetireGuide.com. Retrieved April 8, 2024, from https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-planning/banking/

MLA Crossmier, Lindsey. "Banking for Seniors: Managing Your Finances With Confidence." RetireGuide.com, 16 May 2023, https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-planning/banking/.

Chicago Crossmier, Lindsey. "Banking for Seniors: Managing Your Finances With Confidence." RetireGuide.com. Last modified May 16, 2023. https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-planning/banking/.

Key Takeaways
  • There are popular FDIC-insured banks available in all 50 states with features seniors can benefit from.
  • Don’t rush into opening a bank account that’s heavily advertised to seniors. Compare all bank account types and their benefits before selecting the one best suited for your needs.
  • Being aware of common bank scams can help you manage your funds as you near retirement.

To determine which banks are popular and trustworthy for seniors, RetireGuide reviewed the top banks based on their consolidated assets using data from the Federal Reserve. We narrowed the selection by only choosing FDIC-insured banks available in all 50 states.

Next, we considered the types of accounts offered, monthly fees, accessibility of branches and other bonus features seniors would benefit from. These metrics led us to our list of five popular banks for seniors — Chase, Capital One, Ally, Discover and Citizens Bank.

Popular Banks for Seniors
BankDetails
Chase
  • Range of $0 to $25 service fee, depending on which savings or checking option you choose. Some fees can be waived if you link your Chase savings and checking account together.
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • Ample access to over $4,700 branches

    Bonus Features:
    • $200 bonus if you open a Chase checking account
    • Option to waive $25 service fee with free counter checks, money orders and cashier's checks if you’re a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
    • Has a checking account option with no overdraft fees
  • Capital One
  • No monthly service fees for savings or checking accounts.
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • Limited branch access

    Bonus Features:
    • No overdraft fees
    • Allows you to add cash to your checking account at any CVS location
    • Easy-to-use app
  • Ally Bank
  • No monthly service fees for savings or checking accounts.
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • No physical branches

    Bonus Features:
    • Has a savings bucket feature to organize your money and visualize what you’re saving for
    • No overdraft fees
    • Allows you to set a spending limit with your debit card in their app
  • Discover Bank *
  • No monthly service fees for savings or checking accounts
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • No physical branches

    Bonus Features:
    • Free help removing your personal information from select people-search websites
    • Potential $150 or $200 bonus when opening a savings account
  • Citizens Bank
  • Range of $0 to $25 service fee, depending on which savings or checking option you choose.
  • $0 minimum account balance
  • Over 1,200 physical branches

    Bonus Features:
    • Option to waive some of the monthly service fees if you’re over 65 years old
    • Citizens Peace of Mind feature allows you to reverse overdraft fees
    • Offers a digital advisor to help you invest your funds for a low-cost portfolio
  • Source: *As of April 2023, Discover’s checking account is not open to new enrollees.

    Remember, there isn’t one most popular bank that caters directly to seniors. At the end of the day, seniors can have similar savings goals as anyone at any age.

    Don’t run to open a checking or saving account simply because it highlights senior discounts. Carefully compare the potential fees, required account balances, bonuses and any other features that may fit your retirement savings plan.

    Choosing the Right Bank

    Many factors, such as access to your money through a physical branch, will influence which bank is right for you. For example, if you want a reliable checking account with no monthly service fees or minimum deposit requirement, you might consider Capital One.

    Factors That Influence Which Bank Is Right for You
    • Whether the account has monthly maintenance fees
    • If the account carries a required minimum deposit
    • The types of accounts available
    • The types of savings vehicles available
    • Whether the bank has physical branches near you
    • Any additional bonus features, like skipping overdraft fees
    • Comparable interest rates
    “If you’re using your bank as a savings vehicle, make sure to compare banks to see which have the most competitive rates,”
    Susan Greenhalgh, president of Mind Your Money, LLC

    So, if you’re looking for a high-yield savings account with a reputable bank, reconsider opening an account with the first bank you find. Rates fluctuate regularly, so be sure to compare them within the same timeframe for accuracy.

    On the other hand, if you want multiple savings buckets to track goals like renovating your home or buying your granddaughter a car, you might consider Ally Bank instead. No matter your priorities, taking the time to define your goals can help you determine which bank is best for your retirement needs.

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    Types of Bank Accounts for Seniors

    There are five main types of bank accounts you can open — a checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit (CD) and individual retirement account (IRA). They each have different pros and cons to consider. Keep in mind you can open multiple bank accounts to personalize your savings needs.

    For example, if you have a moderate deposit and want to earn high interest, you could consider a high-yield savings account.

    “High-yield savings accounts do have a place in retirement portfolios, especially if you like the safety of these accounts,” Greenhalgh told RetireGuide.

    However, if you can tolerate your money being locked away to earn moderate interest, you could consider a CD instead.

    Bank Account TypeWhen To Consider It
    Checking AccountA checking account might fit your needs if you need a home for day-to-day transactions or scheduled payments, like your Social Security benefits. This account type also typically allows unlimited ATM withdrawals and deposits.
    Savings AccountConsider a savings account if you need a long-term savings vehicle to cover future costs, like a home or vacation. Some high-yield savings accounts allow you to earn up to 4.00% interest. However, there are usually limited withdrawals for this type.
    Money Market AccountIf you want an account with the features of a checking and savings account, consider a money market account. These allow you to earn interest and withdrawal funds without a penalty, but there are likely higher fees and minimum balances.
    Certificate of Deposit (CD)CDs act similarly to a savings account, but your money is locked away for a set term at a fixed interest rate. Terms range from six months to five years. You should consider this option if you can leave your money untouched for a set term, for a moderate return. CDs work best for short-term goals.
    Individual Retirement AccountIf you’re looking for moderate interest and tax advantages, consider an IRA. Your tax advantages vary, depending on if you have a traditional or Roth IRA. You’d have to be prepared to leave your money untouched until you turn 59 1/2 to avoid penalties.
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    Managing Retirement Savings

    If you fail to manage your savings effectively, you could find yourself unable to fund your retirement plans.

    “Take the time to consider what you want to do in retirement. Are you going to travel more, improve your home, downsize or move?” Greenhalgh offered. “You should also prepare for medical expenses. Talk with a financial advisor about how you plan to fund the rest of your life.”

    Break down your goals and potential medical costs to get an idea of how much you need to save. It can help to match up savings vehicles with goals to best manage your money. For example, if your goal is to combat inflation for long-term goals, you could consider an I bond.

    Strategies like delaying your Social Security benefits and investing in a 401(k) or an IRA early can also help you maximize your savings. Consider the following options to manage your finances.

    Retirement Savings OptionSavings Strategy
    401(k)A 401(k) plan is a retirement account offered by employers that features tax breaks and different investment options. In addition, employers will often match your contributions. A 401(k) can help you reduce your taxable income to be placed in a lower tax bracket while growing your retirement funds.
    Traditional IRAYou can invest your traditional IRA in stocks and bonds, while also earning interest with tax-deferred earnings. This is a great alternative if you don’t have access to a 401(k).
    Roth IRAYou have multiple saving strategies with Roth IRAs. Roth IRAs can help you manage investments, like stocks and bonds, while earning interest with tax-free earnings.
    I BondsSince I bonds offer a fixed interest rate that changes with inflation, it can prevent your savings from losing purchasing power. This strategy works best for reaching long-term goals since they can earn interest for up to 30 years.

    Avoiding Financial Scams

    There are common banking scams for retirees to be wary of. If you learn to recognize these scams, you can better avoid them and help protect your retirement funds.

    4 Common Banking Scams
    Overpayment Scams
    The scammer will send you a fake check to deposit and request you wire part of the money back to them. Since the check is fake, you’d still need to pay your bank the amount of the check —meaning you’d lose the funds you wired to the scammer. Be suspicious if someone requests you to wire back a portion of a check.
    Unsolicited Check Fraud
    Some scammers will send you a check for no reason. If you cash it, you could accidentally authorize a purchase or loan. Never deposit checks from strangers or companies you don’t recognize.
    Automatic Withdrawals
    The scammer will set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account in promises of a fake free trial or prize. Be wary of lotteries or free trials that request your bank number.
    Phishing Emails
    The scammer will send you an email looking like it’s from a legitimate bank requesting you to verify your bank account or debit number. Don’t input this information on a cold-call email; contact your bank instead.
    Senior Scams: The Complete Guide

    There are different resources for reporting bank scams, depending on the type.

    If you’ve received a phishing email, forward it to the Federal Trade Commission at spam@uce.gov.

    Report counterfeit checks online to the FTC or call them at 1-877-382-4357.

    If you receive a fake check in the mail, report it to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

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    Banking for Seniors FAQs

    What are the most important factors to consider when selecting a bank as a senior?
    Consider potential fees, accessibility, convenience and the savings vehicles available when selecting a bank. These factors can make or break your retirement goals.
    How can you avoid financial scams when banking as a senior?
    To avoid banking scams, be wary of checks issued by strangers, requests for you to wire money and emails pressuring you to send your bank information.
    What resources are available for seniors who need help with managing their finances?
    Explore resources offered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which covers tools for financial security in your golden years and elder fraud prevention.

    Editor Malori Malone contributed to this article.

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    Last Modified: May 16, 2023
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    10 Cited Research Articles

    1. Discover. (2023). Savings Account. Retrieved from https://www.discover.com/online-banking/savings-lng-04/
    2. Chase. (2023). Personal Banking | Banking for Military. Retrieved from https://www.chase.com/digital/military/personal
    3. Chase. (2023). Chase Premier Savings. Retrieved from https://www.chase.com/personal/savings/interest-savings
    4. Citizens Bank. (2023). Citizens Checking Account. Retrieved from https://www.citizensbank.com/checking/overview.aspx
    5. Citizens Bank. (2023). Citizens Savings Account. Retrieved from https://www.citizensbank.com/savings/savings-accounts/overview.aspx
    6. Federal Reserve. (2022, December 31). Large Commercial Banks. Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/lbr/current/
    7. Treasury Direct. (2022). I Bonds. Retrieved from https://www.treasurydirect.gov/savings-bonds/i-bonds/
    8. Official Guide to Government Information and Services. (n.d.). Common Scams and Frauds. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds#item-36617
    9. Ally Bank. (n.d.). Interest Checking Account. Retrieved from https://www.ally.com/bank/interest-checking-account/
    10. Capital One. (n.d.). 360 Checking Account. Retrieved from https://www.capitalone.com/bank/checking-accounts/online-checking-account/