Planning Your Retirement With The Help Of Credit Cards: 4 Ways To Set Yourself Up For Success As A Senior

Getting ready for retirement isn't always easy, especially if your finances aren't in order. While you'd much rather be planning a trip to an exotic location or making the last payment on your house, you might be up to your ears in bills and totally confused on how to handle them in the coming years. Credit cards, when used thoughtfully, can be very useful tools leading up to and throughout your retirement. 

1. Push For A Credit Limit On Your Favorite Card Before You Retire

It may be more difficult for you to increase your credit limit after the paychecks stop coming in; thus, applying for a boost before retirement is wise. Anticipate your cash flow, financial needs, and ability to make monthly payments on the credit card(s) you own, then carefully select a favorite card to push for a credit limit on.

2. Apply For Specific Reward Cards Suitable To Your Retirement Lifestyle

Although researching different cards and filling out the paperwork is tedious, it can really pay off for you if you pair your specific lifestyle with just the right rewards card. For example, if you intend to drive cross-country, you'd be well suited for a card that offers perks for gas. There are retail, travel and other rewards to be had. If you'd prefer the greenery, opt for a cash-back card that gives you a percentage of your overall purchases at the end of every month. 

3. Consolidate Debt To Simplify Your Finances

Having to pay multiple bills isn't just annoying and difficult to keep track of, it can be a lot more expensive for you, too. If you have odds-and-ends loans and other payments, put them all together on one card, but not just any card. You want to minimize the interest you're paying on all the individual debts, so lump them together on a card that offers you the best rate.

4. Talk To A Financial Adviser If You Get In Over Your Head

Whether during the planning process or after you retire, if you feel overwhelmed by bills or restricted by debt, make an appointment to speak with a professional financial adviser. Retirement should be a time of enjoyment with less stress than when you were working, so restructure, refinance or otherwise redo the plan you need to be able to kick back and relax, on your terms.

Money matters to everyone, but it's especially important during retirement. Start planning as early as you can and use credit cards as a tool for your success. When used correctly, they can be a real asset to any financial scenario, including yours.