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The Best Robo-Advisors for Seniors

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Best Account Options
Best Customer Service
Best No-Fee Platform
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How We Chose the Best Robo-Advisors for Seniors

Robo-advisor services manage your money or help you plan for retirement using online platforms and algorithms. Although the basic concept is the same, different robo-advisors offer different account options, portfolios, customer support, and fees. We’ve narrowed down the choices to our top robo-advisors for seniors. We considered fees, sign-on bonuses, ease of use, customer service, availability of human assistance, and account offerings. Take a look at the robo-advisor services that made our list!

  • 1. Betterment Digital

    Highlights

    • Fees: 0.25 percent annual AUM (for assets under $2 million)
    • Minimum investment: $0 (certain accounts require different minimums)
    • Account options: Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, SEP IRAs, inherited IRAs, individual taxable accounts, joint taxable accounts, trust accounts, cash reserves, and checking accounts through NBKC Bank
    • Promotions: None

    Overview

    Betterment, one of the original robo-advisors, hopes to make investing easier and more accessible by using automated technology. This company offers a wide number of account options, making it easy to keep as many manage multiple accounts all in one place for convenience. Plus, the fees are low, making it a great choice for seniors who want premium services like tax-loss harvesting but want to keep costs as low as possible.

    To get started with Betterment Digital, the simple-to-use platform will ask you questions like how much you want to invest and your preferred timing. Then, you’ll set up an investing goal or a general investing account. After you make your first deposit, Betterment will recommend portfolios, handle tax-efficient withdrawals, and do fractional-share investment. With Betterment, you also have the option to consult with a financial advisor. Their advice packages are a little pricey at $199 to $299. However, they can be a great option for older adults who would feel more comfortable speaking to a human from time to time.

    Pros
    • Low fees
    • Free automatic rebalancing
    • Recurring deposits
    • Dividend reinvestment
    • Wide range of account options
    • Access to financial advisors for a fee
    • Tax-loss harvesting
    Cons
    • High fees for financial advice packages
    • Limited investment products
  • 2. Wealthfront

    Highlights

    • Fees: 0.25% annual management fee; $0 trading fee
    • Minimum investment: $500 (or $10,000 for portfolio customization)
    • Account options: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, 401(k) rollovers, 529 plans, individual accounts, joint accounts, and trust accounts
    • Promotions: First $5,000 in assets managed for free

    Overview

    Wealthfront automates investing, helping you achieve your retirement goals with a competitive 0.25% annual management fee. The company’s tax-loss-harvesting service helps many customers recoup their fees through tax savings. Wealthfront offers a wide selection of account types, so you can save for retirement, set up a 529 college savings account for your grandchildren, prepare trusts for your estate, and more.

    You can do all of this using the Wealthfront mobile app or website. But just because it’s digital doesn’t mean you’re without help. You can call a product specialist if you need technical assistance with the app or help finding information on the website. This is an offering that we think makes this platform truly senior-friendly. Plus, Wealthfront’s product specialists typically answer the phone in under 10 seconds.

    Pros
    • Low fees
    • Tax-loss harvesting
    • Automatic portfolio rebalancing
    • Won’t sell your trade data
    • Speedy customer support for technical assistance
    Cons
    • Can’t customize portfolios less than $100,000
    • No human financial advisors available
  • 3. SoFi

    Highlights

    • Fees: Free
    • Minimum investment: $5
    • Account options: Individual investment accounts, joint investment accounts, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, and traditional rollover IRAs
    • Promotions: Get up to $1,000 when you open an account

    Overview

    SoFi Automated Investing manages financial portfolios and offers financial guidance using a computer algorithm. Best of all, it’s free. You won’t need to pay any management, advisory, or administrative fees, which can save you a good chunk of change in the long run. Older adults can open a number of different account types, including joint personal investment accounts. You can choose from 10 portfolios with diversified low-cost ETFs.

    While SoFi isn’t new, their robo-advisor service is: It’s been around only since 2017. That’s something to consider as you decide which robo-advisor is right for you. Overall, we think SoFi is a great fit for budget-conscious seniors looking for simple automated investing and retirement planning. We especially love that all users gain unlimited access to certified financial planners and customer support.

    Pros
    • No management fees
    • Goal planning
    • Auto rebalancing
    • Diversified portfolios to help reduce risk
    • Customer support by chat and phone
    • Unlimited access to certified financial planners
    Cons
    • No tax-loss harvesting
    • Limited account options
    • Shorter track record compared to other services
  • 4. Blooom

    Highlights

    • Fees: $0 for limited services; $120 to $295 per year for paid annual subscriptions
    • Minimum investment: $0
    • Account options: Manages existing 401(k) plans, thrift savings plans (TSPs), 457 plans, 403(b) plans, 401(a) plans, and IRAs; fully manages IRAs at Fidelity; makes recommendations for IRAs at Vanguard, Charles Schwab, and TD Ameritrade
    • Promotions: None

    Overview

    Blooom found its niche in an area most other robo-advisors steer clear of: managing existing employer-sponsored retirement accounts and select IRAs. Considering 54 percent of adults with retirement savings have 401(k) or 403(b) plans and 33 percent have IRAs, this is a much-needed service.1

    It’s an easy service to use. Just link your existing accounts to see the free insights Blooom and its algorithm have to offer. Then, you can make changes on your own or become a member and pay Blooom to act on your behalf. Members also gain access to personalized fund recommendations, investment monitoring, trade assistance, and personal advisors through chat or email.

    Good to Know: If you like managing all of your accounts from your smartphone, be aware that Blooom doesn’t have a mobile app at the moment.

    Membership costs range from $120 to $295 per year. The flat membership fee helps Blooom stand out in an industry that usually charges based on a percentage of assets. It’s a good option for older adults who want help making the most of their IRA at Fidelity or 401(k).

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Free analysis tool
    • No minimum account balance
    • Flat account management fees
    • Recommends diversified portfolios
    • Minimizes hidden investment fees
    • Chat/email with financial advisors
    • Supports unlimited retirement accounts
    Cons
    • Only for existing retirement accounts
    • Not all IRAs can be fully managed
    • No mobile app
  • 5. Fidelity Go

    Highlights

    • Fees: $0 for under $10,000; $3 per month for $10,000 to $49,999; 0.35% per year for $50,000 or more
    • Minimum investment: $0 to open account; $10 to start investing
    • Account options: Taxable individual/joint accounts, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, rollover IRAs, and health savings accounts (HSAs)
    • Promotions: None

    Overview

    With Fidelity Go, you simply answer a few questions to get a recommended investment strategy. The hands-off service will monitor your account and the markets, and then automatically adjust your investments to help you reach your goals. The 14 strategies range from more conservative to more aggressive, but all offer diversification to try to minimize the risk involved.

    We love that Fidelity Go offers no or low fees for seniors with low balances. If you have less than $10,000 in your account, you don’t have to pay any advisory fees. If you have between $10,001 and $49,999, you’ll just pay $3 per month. Seniors with higher balances may want to consider a different service, as this company’s annual 0.35% fee is higher than many competitors.

    Please scroll to the right for more info.
    Pros
    • Easy sign-up process
    • Free and low-fee accounts available
    • No trading fees, transaction fees, or rebalancing fees
    • Unique HSA account offering
    • Option for recurring monthly deposits
    • Android and iOS mobile apps
    Cons
    • Higher fees for larger account balances
    • Limited account options
    • No human advisors
    • No tax-loss harvesting
  • 6. Axos Invest

    Highlights

    • Fees: 0.24% annual advisory fee
    • Minimum investment: $500 (any account under $500 is charged $1 per month)
    • Account options: Individual non-retirement accounts, traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, and SEP IRAs
    • Promotions: None

    Overview

    Axos Managed Portfolios makes setting and achieving short- and long-term financial goals a little easier. This company helps you fund financial milestones, such as preparing for retirement, setting up an emergency fund, and buying a new home. Based on the info you provide, Axos will recommend how much money to invest toward each milestone. You can go with their recommendation or make adjustments as you see fit.

    FYI: If you’re leaning toward Axos, just know that account options are limited. You can’t set up a trust account, custodial account, or joint investment account.

    Axos’ portfolio customization options also set this service apart. You can choose from 32 investment themes and add investments by sector. For example, you could choose to invest in socially minded companies. Most other robo-advisors don’t offer this level of customization. That’s why we think Axos is an excellent option for older adults who want the automation a robo-advisor can offer but still want some say in where their money goes.

    Pros
    • Account setup in less than 10 minutes
    • Low account management costs
    • Short- and long-term goal planning tools
    • Highly customizable portfolios
    • Tax-loss harvesting
    • Automatic portfolio rebalancing
    • Auto-deposit scheduler
    • iOS and Android apps
    Cons
    • Limited account options
    • Transfer-out and termination fees
    • No human advisor option
    • Can’t move money between goals

What Is a Robo-Advisor?

A robo-advisor is an online platform that provides automated money management solutions with limited (or no) human interaction. Instead of a real, live financial advisor managing your accounts, a digital service does it for you. How? By using different algorithms, not actual robots.

FYI: In 2021, an estimated 3.5 million adults used a robo-advisor to manage their investment portfolio.2 That number is expected to increase in the coming years.

It might sound scary to entrust your life savings to a computer program, but keep in mind that most humans who manage wealth use mathematical formulas and predictive models too. So, while the service might feel very different than using a human financial advisor, a robo-advisor essentially carries out the same functions, often for a fraction of the cost.

Most robo-advisors offer similar services, which often include:

  • Online or in-app account setup
  • Goal planning management
  • Account and portfolio services
  • Online financial education resources
  • Customer service

How Do I Choose the Right Robo-Advisor?

If you think a robo-advisor is right for you, you should consider a few things before choosing which company to go with.

Price

Make sure the cost is worth it. After all, the reason you’re turning to a robo-advisor in the first place is to help you grow your wealth. Always research fees and read the fine print before you sign up to ensure that the potential to increase your wealth outweighs any fees.

Account types and services

Managing multiple accounts across several different platforms can get confusing. Make sure the robo-advisor you choose offers the account types, services, and features you need. For some, that may mean focusing on those with tax-loss harvesting. For others, having the option to talk to a human from time to time may matter most. Whichever provider you choose, you need to make sure it will help you reach your financial goals.

Reviews

Read reviews before signing up for a service. Nearly every company looks great when you’re just browsing the company website. Reading reviews from real customers will give you valuable insight as you choose a service. See mostly negative reviews? You’re likely better off with a different company.

Written By

Sarah Goldy-Brown

Writer & Researcher

Sarah covers a range of senior lifestyle topics, from reviews of walk-in tubs and hearing aids to overviews of Medicare and Medicaid. Her close relationship with her grandparents gave her a firsthand look at the evolving life needs of older adults, and… Learn More About Sarah Goldy-Brown