banking

Best Banks for Retirees, 2020

For retirees living on a fixed income, finding a bank that won't nickel-and-dime you with fees and minimum balance requirements is key to helping make your money last.

Low or no minimum account balances, free checks and paper statements, and access to investment and advisory services make these banks attractive for retirees.

BEST: TD Bank

Courtesy of TD Bank

  • Why it won: TD has a large footprint of branches for in-person service and a strong checking account for those 60 and older.
  • Standout account: 60 Plus Checking folds in features that make sense for retirees. 
  • Where it is: More than 1,200 branches in 15 states (and Washington, D.C.), stretching down the east side of the country from Maine to Florida. (Terms and rates listed here are for customers in Cherry Hill, N.J.)

With a reasonable balance minimum of $250, you avoid a $10 monthly fee on the 60 Plus Checking account. Standard checks, cashier's checks, money orders and paper statements are free, and as with other TD personal checking accounts, you get a discount of 0.25 percentage point on a TD home equity or personal loan. If you're 62 or older, the Simple Savings account (0.05% yield) and the Growth Money Market (0.01% to 0.15% rate, depending on the balance, if you have a monthly transfer of at least $50 into the account) are free. For a higher yield, check out the TD Beyond Savings account (see details in the gold medalist entry in the Best National Banks round-up). Certificates of deposit have a low minimum of $250; recently, the three-month Promotional CD offered a 0.5% rate for those with an eligible personal checking account (longer terms had lower yields). 

On the investment and wealth management side, you can use TD Ameritrade’s brokerage services. (Keep in mind that investment options may change after Charles Schwab completes its buyout of TD Ameritrade.) With investable assets of at least $750,000, you're eligible for TD's private banking and retirement and wealth planning services, which come with a dedicated, local relationship manager.

LICENSING OPTIONS FOR WINNING BANKS: Logo LicensingReprint/E-Print ProductsPlaques

RUNNER-UP: Charles Schwab Bank

Courtesy of Charles Schwab

  • Why it won: With an attractive checking account and high marks for customer satisfaction, the investment company's banking division is a good choice for retirees who don't mind managing their accounts online.
  • Standout account: High Yield Investor Checking is free and comes with perks well suited for retirees—especially those who like to travel. 

Schwab's online High Yield Investor Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly fee, personal checks and paper statements are free, and out-of-network ATM fees are reimbursed both in the U.S. and internationally. Plus, you'll be charged no foreign-exchange fee when you use your debit card to make purchases overseas, and the account yields 0.03%. To use the checking account, you must open a Schwab One brokerage account, but you don't have to keep a minimum balance or pay a monthly fee, and you can transfer money free between the accounts. For two years in a row, J.D. Power has ranked Charles Schwab Bank highest for overall customer satisfaction among internet banks. 

Schwab also offers the High Yield Investor Savings account free with no minimum, and it yields 0.05%. As a major investment firm, Schwab has a range of wealth and advisory services, from a robo-advisory platform to assistance from a full-fledged wealth-management team.

LICENSING OPTIONS FOR WINNING BANKS: Logo LicensingReprint/E-Print ProductsPlaques

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