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Making provisions for retirement now with the smartphone

Bonds, shares and cryptocurrencies can be a sensible addition to close your own pension gap. Some apps make it particularly easy to get started with these forms of private retirement planning.

Thinking about one’s own pension is definitely not one of the most pleasant occupations. At least not when it comes to financial security. The issue is more urgent than ever, because anyone who is currently working will probably only be able to count on a basic state pension in the future, which will by no means secure the standard of living they have enjoyed up to now. However, there are now some really good apps that make it particularly easy to make private provisions for your own future and increase your money. In our opinion, these interesting apps are worth a look.

Pension enhancement apps


Jakob and Fabian Scholz are behind the startup “Rubarb.” The two nephews of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have developed an app that makes it particularly easy to save for retirement. Rubarb links up with your own checking account, credit card or PayPal. When you shop online or in stores, the sum of each purchase is rounded up to full euros. The money collected then flows into a bond or stock portfolio ETF (exchange-traded fund).

Photo: atechbook via Rubarb

You can choose between different security levels for the individual portfolios. For example, the “Relax” portfolio contains only government and corporate bonds. These are generally safe investments. In the “Discover” model, the ratio between stocks and bonds is 50 percent each. The riskiest variant, “Challenge,” contains 100 percent equities. Depending on the portfolio selected, returns of 3.1 to 12.5 percent per year are given. ETFs are generally regarded as a relatively safe and simple form of investment, as they are not invested in the shares of an individual company, but in an index such as the DAX or S&P 500. That is why they are also well suited as an investment for retirement.

Also interesting: These apps help you keep your finances under control

Scalable Capital

Scalable Capital combines two retirement planning options in one app. On the one hand, a “normal” broker, where you can buy shares yourself. On the other hand, a so-called Robo-Advisor; an algorithm that automatically invests the money invested in the capital market and thus promises investors without stock market experience the highest possible returns. Scalable Capital is one of the so-called “neo-brokers”, whose interface is specially designed for use on smartphones. This is intended to greatly simplify stock trading and make it easier to get started.

Screenshot Scalable Capital
Photo: atechbook via Scalable Capital

Buying shares at Scalable Capital is comparatively inexpensive, so you pay only 0.99 euros per transaction in the “Free Broker” model. Trading with ETFs and cryptocurrencies is also possible, but here you do not buy “real” coins, but so-called exchange-traded products (ETP). These merely map the performance of the cryptocurrency and collateralize it.


Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Cardano are considered a riskier form of investment compared to stocks, real estate or gold. On the other hand, they promise a comparatively high return, which in extreme cases can even reach more than 100 percent of the capital invested. Nexo is a so-called lending platform. It brings together lenders and borrowers, with the difference that the loans are not secured by money, but by cryptocurrencies.

Screenshot Nexo
Photo: atechbook via Nexo

The Nexo crypto account is one of the best-known offers in the industry, where up to 20 percent returns per year are currently achievable. This is far above the ECB’s key interest rate and the interest rates offered by regular commercial banks. Cryptocurrencies can be a useful addition to the investment mix, but you should by no means invest your entire savings exclusively in Bitcoin & Co.

Beware of the taxman

In principle, all of the apps mentioned here are well suited to saving money privately for retirement or, ideally, to significantly increasing invested capital, depending on personal risk tolerance. Bonds are considered the safest, while cryptocurrencies are the riskiest.

Also interesting: Which app is the best to use to buy ETFs?

However, it is important to know that the tax office also wants to earn money from the money saved. With shares, it is therefore important to create an exemption order via the broker. Anyone who makes profits from the sale of cryptocurrencies must then declare them independently in the tax return. Crypto exchanges or platforms do not pay taxes to the tax authorities. Anyone who is unsure about this should better consult a tax advisor, especially when starting out.


  • Rubarb
  • Scalable Capital


  • smart finance