banking

Best Banks for Retirees

With these banks, retirees benefit from low or no minimum-balance requirements, free checks and paper statements, and access to investment and wealth-management services.

Best: TD Bank

www.td.com

Why it won: TD offers a strong, low-minimum checking account for retirees, plus fee breaks on certain savings accounts. And those who prefer in-person service benefit from a large branch footprint on the East Coast.

Standout account: 60 Plus Checking has well-appointed features for retirees.

Where it is: More than 1,100 branches in 15 eastern states and Washington, D.C. Terms and rates are for Delaware.

TD’s 60 Plus Checking has a reasonable, $250 minimum-balance requirement to waive the $10 monthly fee, and it provides free standard checks, cashier’s checks, money orders and paper statements. If you’re 62 or older, you pay no monthly fee for TD’s Simple Savings account (for more, see the “Best National Banks” silver medalist) or Growth Money Market account, which yields as much as 0.03% on a balance of $25,000 or more if you have a recurring transfer of at least $50 into the account (standard rate: 0.01% to 0.02%). With Choice Promotional CDs, rates were recently 0.05% on all terms. Step-Rate CDs increase the yield each year—for example, a three-year certificate offers 0.05% in year one, 0.1% in year two and 0.15% in year three. At each account anniversary, you can make a full or partial withdrawal and pay no early-withdrawal penalty.

TD offers a suite of wealth- and investment-management options, including brokerage services through TD Ameritrade, annuities, retirement planning, and wealth management through TD Wealth Private Client Group (minimum $750,000 in investable assets), which comes with a relationship manager as well as help from wealth strategists, investment advisers and other professionals.

Runner-up: Charles Schwab Bank

www.schwab.com/bank

Why it won: Retirees who are game to bank online can take advantage of minimal checking account fees and access to Schwab’s investment and advisory services.

Standout account: The free High Yield Investor Checking account offers lots of freebies and is especially well-suited for travelers.

Schwab’s online banking arm offers a gem in the High Yield Investor Checking account. It has no monthly fee or minimum-balance requirement, yields 0.03%, and offers free standard checks, paper statements, stop payments, overdraft transfers and incoming domestic wire transfers. Two benefits that travelers will appreciate: unlimited refunds of domestic and international out-of-network ATM fees and no foreign-transaction fees on purchases abroad. You must also open a Schwab One brokerage account, which has no balance requirement or maintenance fees.

Schwab’s free High Yield Investor Savings account yields 0.05%, and you can make ATM withdrawals from it with a debit card (all withdrawal fees are reimbursed). Schwab’s investment services run the gamut from brokerage accounts to wealth management.

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