7 Ways Seniors Accidentally Ruin Their Finances

Last updated July 29, 2022 | By FinanceBuzz Editors

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you're a senior, you've worked hard to get to where you are today. It's a huge accomplishment to make it this far, and you deserve to enjoy the life you've built. 

Unfortunately, there are a number of mistakes lurking around every corner that could compromise your finances, stealing away years of hard work and financial security.

Here are a few of the most common ways that seniors accidentally ruin their finances — and how to avoid them!

Overpaying for car insurance

Are you staying home and driving less? If you answered yes, you've got an opportunity to lower your auto insurance premiums. With driving and auto insurance claims down, insurance companies are offering discounts.

With Insure.com, you fill out one simple form, and in minutes, you'll get a selection of personalized quotes. You'll be able to see the best prices from top insurance companies, all in one place, then pick the one that saves you the most for the coverage you want.

On average, drivers save $560/year when they use Insure.com.

Compare quotes now

Not getting a home warranty

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more. Not being able to make repairs could leave you in a bad situation — but a home warranty could protect you against surprise expenses.

Whether you’re a brand-new homeowner or you’ve owned your home for years, a plan from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where homeowner’s insurance falls short.

If a covered system in your home breaks down, you can call their hotline 24/7 for assistance to get it repaired. They have a network of over 15,000 technicians that can assist you, making sure any issue can be taken care of swiftly — without breaking the bank.

Not sure if it’s for you? Rest easy: they were named one of the "Best Home Warranty Companies" by US News 360 Reviews and were awarded Best Company's 2020 Consumer's Choice Award. For a limited time, you can get your first month free when you sign up for a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote

Not getting life insurance

Here's a secret: life insurance agents often push expensive policies because their commissions are tied to the policy premiums you pay. The higher the premium, the more THEY get paid.

If you want to get the coverage you need for a fair price, you can skip the agent and get a quote online. With lifeinsurance.net, you can either buy your policy online or work with an agent over the phone who will listen to your needs and guide you to a policy with the best coverage for your budget. The price you pay will be based on your age and health, not someone else's commission.

Get a free quote now

Paying high advisory fees for your investment portfolio

Robo-advisors are a simple, online investing option for those who don't want to pay the high fees of a traditional investment manager, but still want someone else to handle complicated things like trading and portfolio rebalancing.

With Betterment, you can choose your risk level then invest in a range of funds chosen to help you earn better returns. Their technology also automates smart strategies, like tax loss harvesting, to help you save even more.

Betterment charges just a fraction of the cost of most brokers, and by following Betterment's recommendations, you could earn 38% more money over 30 years compared with an average investor.

Try Betterment today

Pay no interest until 2022

If you have a major purchase coming up, a credit card with a 0% intro APR can help you finance it without the fees. Just be sure you're able to pay off your balance before the intro period ends if you want to avoid interest.

If you have a credit score over 700, we've got a great 0% APR card recommendation for you. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express card offers a 0% intro APR for a generous 15 months. After the intro period, the interest rate goes to 16.24% to 27.24% (variable) (See rates and fees).

In addition, you can earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months, and 3% cash back on U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year in each category). Add that all up and you've got the potential to earn huge cash back in the form of statement credits while you save on interest! Terms Apply

The best part? There's NO annual fee! 

Learn how to apply

If you’re over 61, access the equity in your home

If you own a home, you’ve been paying off your loan for years, you could have equity in it. Unfortunately, it can be hard to access that money unless you sell your house, leaving you with no way to take advantage of the equity you’ve built over decades of payments. So what can you do?

A reverse mortgage loan from AAG could help you unlock the money in your home’s equity without selling your home. These loans are exclusive to those over 61 years old, and approval isn’t dependent on your income or employment status.

If you’re over 61, have more than 50% equity in your home, and you live in your home as your full-time residence, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage. AAG is BBB A+ accredited and the application is fast, easy, and secure.

See if you qualify

Bonus: Protect your credit and identity with up to $1 million in insurance

Identity theft can severely impact your life. If your identity is stolen and you don’t find out about it early enough, it could impact your credit and finances for years to come — and you could even be liable for the damages.

Identity Guard can help keep you informed about bad actors trying to steal your identity online. Their comprehensive service helps over 47 million customers stay protected and secure across all their online activities.

With Identity Guard, you get access to real-time monitoring and $1 million in identity theft insurance 1 for as little as $6.67 per month. They’ll even alert you when potentially suspicious activity is detected so that you can keep your identity and credit safe for years to come.

Protect your identity today

Gold Allied Trust Benefits

  • Free investor guide
  • Reputable dealer specializing in precious metal IRAs
  • Transfer funds from your 401(k) or IRA without taxes or penalties
  • Learn from the industry leader