When you’ve reached those golden years, you want to reap the rewards that your years of experience have earned you. After a lifetime of paying taxes and working hard, it’s time to sit back and enjoy getting something back from it all. But a surprising number of pensioners are unaware of the fantastic freebies and deals that are available to those over the age of 75, or they simply don’t know how to go about taking advantage of them.
So here’s a short guide and introduction on what’s on offer to help you get your head around the numerous opportunities.
Heating and Winter Allowances
(Image Source: Geoffrey Gallaway)
It’s widely recognised that the older generations suffer far more from the cold during the winter. For many, this poses a dangerous risk on their mental and physical condition. What’s more, during your retirement years you tend to spend far more time at home than those who are still in work. However keeping a house warm all day every day throughout those colder months can be astronomically expensive.
In recognition of this, there are a variety of schemes available for those aged 65 and over. Some of these schemes include the winter fuel payment, cold weather payment and warm home discount scheme. There are also opportunities to get your home insulated to help make heating the home more efficient and affordable. You’ll be eligible for at least one payment or discount if you’re retired, so don’t miss out on this helpful contribution to heating bills.
The TV is an important source of entertainment for any household, and it has been widely recognised that for many elderly people in Britain, it is a vital source of company too. As a result, you are able to claim a free TV licence if you are aged 74 or over. What’s more, there are many freeview digital boxes available on the market if you can’t afford to pay for expensive subscription fees.
Transport and Travel
(Image Source: Flickr)
Getting around shouldn’t need to be a hassle if you’re retired. Driving can be a challenge as health conditions and lack of confidence affect use of the car, but there are lots of alternatives available for pensioners. If you live in England you are eligible for a free bus pass when you retire, whilst Scotland, Wales and Ireland have their own schemes too. Meanwhile many train and coach companies offer generous discounts on long distance travel, so apply for a Senior Railcard or coach card that can save you money when going on visits to places further afield.
Nobody likes trips to the doctors and those dreaded prescriptions, but at least in the UK we get a good deal when it comes to healthcare. The NHS is a fantastic resource for everyone that is unique to our country, whilst all pensioners are entitled to free prescriptions to ease the blow of medical treatment in old age. It might not be the most exciting freebie that you’ll ever encounter, but it can make a huge difference to the bank balance if ever you do need to go to the doctors. Furthermore, if you experience any disabilities such as limited mobility, then you could be eligible to receive discounts and grants to make life easier living with your condition.
The Good Life
(Image Source: Garry Knight)
There can be some cushy ways that old age can save you money and give you the star treatment if you do a little digging. A great deal many restaurants, shops, and attractions offer OAP discounts, whilst many places such as B&Q, Vue, Diamond Card and Boots have special schemes for those ages 65 and over. Another great way to stay active during your retirement is by joining an exercise class, and you’ll find many options in the local area such as swimming, keep fit classes and more. There are usually programmes designed specifically for older people, or instead they might offer some sort of discount on membership to attract you in. It’s always worth asking when you visit somewhere if they offer an OAP discount, after all it doesn’t harm to find out. And if you don’t ask, you often don’t get!
Living within your pension doesn’t have to be a challenge if you know how and when you can save money on everyday things. Whether taking advantage of household contributions or discounts on days out, there are lots of ways in which pensioners are rewarded for their years of experience. Each local area might differ in its exclusive freebies and offers, but as a general guide to what’s available throughout the UK this should help you get started on saving.
A guest blog post designed to help pensioners make the most of retirement by expert lifestyle writer Harold H. Rigby.