I help manage my parents' investments. We tried to get margin approval at TD Ameritrade, and were instantly rejected via the automated system. I don't think it's an income or liquid assets issue. Perhaps because they listed 'Retired' under Employment? We wanted to get margin not because we actually want to borrow, but because we don't want to be subject to cash settlement requirements in this very volatile environment, where moves that used to take weeks now happen intraday. Do brokers generally not give margin privileges to retirees?