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Here’s What You Shouldn’t Carry Around If You’re Retired

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When it comes to joining the workforce, all we look forward to when we’re older is retirement. If you’ve got a nice nest egg stashed away, then leaving the workforce will be a breeze. But there are a couple of things you might still need to worry about.

You may not know it, but there are quite a few things you might want to avoid carrying in your wallet or purse if you are of retirement age. Here is just a few:

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1. Medicare Card

When you retire, you are enrolled in a government-sponsored healthcare program known as Medicare. Each member is issued an ID to help make it easier to see doctors and be recommended to specialists.

There are efforts being made to change that and issue IDs without the sensitive information, but because they are going by geographical region, the change won’t be complete until April of 2019.

If you were issued an ID before 2005 and your SSN is located on your card, you might want to photocopy it and leave the real one at home. When you make that photocopy, commit your SSN to memory and blank out the numbers. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of trouble.

2. Social Security card

This is an important document containing a special number unique to you. It helps you register for things like owning a vehicle, buying a home, or renewing your driver’s license.

It is the only thing half-skilled ID thief needs to buy a car, house, or take out a massive loan in your name. Make sure that you’ve removed yours, your spouse’s, and your children’s cards if you have them anywhere in your purse or wallet.

Before December 2005, it was standard practice to include a person’s SSN on a driver’s license. A law that year ensured it would never be done again in the future. If you happen to have an ID like that, take the time to go into your local DMV and request a new one.

You might have to spend a bit of cash, but the added security is surely worth a couple of dollars.

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3. Spare Keys

It is always good to have a spare key in case you lose your main one. Some of us like to leave it inside the pot of a plant, under a doormat, or right in our wallets and purses. There’s just one problem with that. Lose your purse or wallet and it’s like telling thieves, “Hey, feel free to come visit.”

Losing something that holds your spare key carries more danger than simple identity theft, in addition to the money you’ll be spending on new locks.

You might want to keep a watchful eye out for valets too. Adam Levin, chairman, and co-founder of Identity Theft 911 says “Remember that every time you stop and hand your key to a valet, depending on what’s in the glove box [or trunks], you are making yourselves vulnerable.

Leave your key with someone you really trust, perhaps a close friend, sibling, or parent. It might take a little longer to get that spare, but would you rather spend money on new locks or drive down the road some for your key?

4. Password Cheat Sheet

These days we all have at least 5 passwords for a host of different things. When you’re retired, you have plenty of time to surf the internet and you’ll likely end up at a few log-in screens.

With all the accounts you could possibly own, is it any surprise someone would want to have a list to help them out?

Do yourself another favor and do not make a list of passwords to carry with you. If you absolutely have to do it, put your list in a lockbox somewhere in your residence.

Many services and website offer something known as ‘two-factor authentication’. You enter your username and password as usual, then you are asked to enter an extra code sent to your mobile. It adds to the security of your account, and hackers will have a tougher time accessing your info.

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5. Paper Checks

There are many places that still take payment by check. And just because you are retired does not mean you’ll be free of writing them.
Retirees should remember that carrying around blank checks is a recipe for disaster. Each one contains your account and routing numbers on the front. With those, anyone who knows how can try to transfer money from your account to theirs.

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