4 Things Retirees Should Never Carry with Them

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Updated: March 22, 2020


4 Things Retirees Should Never Carry with Them


If you are a fan of Seinfeld, you probably remember the episode where George pulls out his bulging wallet. His friends mocked him for carrying so many unneeded items in his wallet, but George insisted that he loved carrying around his “good friend.” He said that regardless if “his friend” was morbidly obese or not, it held everything he needed in life.

One consistent lesson that viewers of Seinfeld would learn is “don’t be like George.” And when it comes to carrying around your wallet, we need to take what we learned from an old episode of Seinfeld to heart.

Not only are stuffed wallets bulky and challenging to manage, but you may be carrying items that, if they got into the wrong hands, would put your financial security at risk. Here are some of the things that retirees (and young people too) should remove from their wallets.


1. Lots of Cash

We’re not going to tell you that paying with cash is old fashioned or outdated. In fact, some people use cash as a form of budgeting. For example, Dave Ramsey encourages families to place cash in labeled envelopes to keep track of spending in each of their budget categories. Also, studies have shown that you spend less money if you pay in cash as opposed to paying with a credit or debit card. Cash is not the enemy.

A large wad of cash is problematic. Older people are often targets for street crimes, and flashing a bunch of money while paying a bill at a restaurant may result in an unpleasant exchange in the parking lot, if the wrong person sees it.

Still carry cash, but only put enough in your wallet for what you will spend on that particular day.

2. Social Security Cards

In the pre-internet age, people didn’t think anything about sharing their social security numbers. In fact, some universities would use the numbers as a form of an ID — even going as far as listing test grades on the outside of a college classroom with the only identifier being the students’ SSN.

Most of us would scoff at this practice now, but the reality is that some retirees may not know that this bit of data should rarely be divulged. They may carry a social security card as another form of ID to use when writing a check or in case they need to remember the number.

Instead, do your best to memorize your SSN. Secure the card in a locked, fire-proof file cabinet at home.

3. List of Logins and Passwords

We all cringe when we are forced to log into an account that we don’t access often. We think we may know the user name and password, but it seems like we have to reset them all too often. To avoid this scenario, many people choose to create a list of passwords and account numbers. We understand this need, but make sure you keep the list in a secure place — but not your wallet.

4. Spare Keys

Maybe you no longer drive. Instead, you rely on family and friends to get you where you need to go. Instead of having to manage both a wallet and house key, some seniors choose to stick the key inside the wallet for safekeeping.

This is a mistake. If you drop your wallet, a criminal will not only have your key, but he will also have the address of your home as well.

Lifelong habits are difficult to break. We know you may have carried blank checks, passports, and multiple credit cards for years without issue. But all it takes is leaving a wallet sitting on the table in a restaurant, and you may suffer from identity theft or a financial breach.

Thin down your wallet. Don’t be like George.


Featured image Credit: stevepb / Pixabay