The Moneyist: ‘I don’t use cash’: I’m 70 and my home is paid off. I live off Social Security, and I use a credit card for all my spending. Is that risky?

by | Feb 21, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, I am now 70 years old and partially disabled. I am fully retired, living on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. Obviously, I have limited income.

I am financially stable. I have no debts of any kind. I own my home (a boat) free and clear, and have no payments on my automobile. I have always been reluctant to pay for things using a debit card. My worry is that if my debit card ever gets stolen and there are fraudulent charges, that money comes directly out of my checking account. Even if I reported its theft, it might take time to get the money back. As a result, I don’t use cash. I always pay with a credit card rather than a debit card. I don’t carry any credit-card balances. I budget my money carefully and pay all my credit-card bills in full every month. My question: Is there a downside to my using credit cards in my current limited financial situation? RetireeDear Retiree, With convenience comes great responsibility — and risks. There’s a big difference between living on credit and using a credit card for your spending. You fall into the latter category, and you are paying off your card every month while racking up rewards, air miles and other perks. Debit cards do no …

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