20 nifty over-50s money saving tips
Age, they say, can confer plenty of advantages – wisdom, confidence, tolerance, and no need to wear socks if you don’t want to. Financially though, it presents challenges and opportunities.
So if you’re a grey or silver saver (some of these are for over-50s, some 60s, and some older), there are lots of tips in this updated 50+ nifty over-50s tips guide, but here are 20 quick, easy, or crucial ones to start…
1. Over-50s travel insurance from £14 – don’t let them overcharge.
Older travellers often get fleeced by insurers. Yet there are decent rates. Below is a quick look at the cheapest no-frills annual policies (they cover a year’s trips) that meet our min cover levels. Far more info, including couples’ policies and more in 65+ Travel Insurance. Always check the policy terms are right for you.
• 50+: Holidaysafe Lite* £14 Europe; £27 world.
• 66+: Holidaysafe Lite* £25 Europe, Leisure Guard* £49 world.
• 70+: Holidaysafe* £25 Europe, Leisure Guard* £48 world.
• 80-85: Insure and Go* £197 Europe, £297 world.
• 85+: No cheap annual ins; use MoneySup* comparison for each trip.
• Medical issues? Always declare them. If getting cover’s tough, see Pre-Existing Medical Conditions policies.
An alternative route is to get it free by switching bank account. The fee-free Nationwide FlexAccount includes European travel cover for up-to-75s (so get a joint account and you’re both covered).
2. Get 10 points per Boots spend rather than 4.
Age 60+. The Boots Over-60s Club means you get up to 10 points per £1 spent in store on Boots own-brand products (not others), instead of 4 points per £1. Each point is worth 1p and can be redeemed on most things in store.
3. Are YOU missing out on £35/week extra state pension cash?
Those born before 5 April 1953. The pension credit is an income boost to those on low incomes in retirement. There are now 1.6m eligible pensioners who AREN’T CLAIMING (100,000 more missing out than last year).
4. Don’t believe the ads – over-50s plans are pants for most.
Axa SunLife now has a TV ad on somewhere every 4 minutes (according to Money Mail), so be careful.
5. B&Q diamond card, automatic 10% off.
Age 60+. B&Q offers a free B&Q Diamond Card for over-60s; it’s valid in stores (not online) for 10% off on Wednesdays (some exclusions apply). Though even bigger discounts may be possible if you haggle, as B&Q is a haggler’s heaven – in our poll 60% of those who tried there succeeded.
6. Been saving for years? Your best buy isn’t best any more – are you earning 3%?
As the personal savings allowance means most people no longer pay tax on savings, it’s rate that counts. The highest payer for a decent whack comes from switching to Santander 123, which pays 3% on £3,000 to £20,000.
7. Should’ve got your 25% off code first.
Age 60+. Specsavers gives 25% off in store on frames & lenses in its £69+ range. Yet you shouldn’t always have gone to Specsavers, often it’s cheaper elsewhere.
8. Equity release is NOT a no-brainer.
The older the better. Equity release loans are marketed to older homeowners as a way to spend your home’s value while still living there. But rates, at 5%-7%, are higher than mortgages and as you don’t make repayments, interest compounds at rocket speed. So it’s worth looking at downsizing your home if possible. If not, take as small an equity release as you can, as late as you can (and do it again later if you must).
9. Hidden theatre discounts & get cheap cinema tickets.
Age 50+. They’re not always advertised but it won’t hurt to ask at your local playhouse – many forumites report senior successes, eg, £40 off a £60 ticket to Jersey Boys. If you’re 55+ many cinemas discount too plus Odeon Silver Cinema has showings for £3, with free tea, coffee & biscuits.
10. Death happens – have the ‘unpleasant issues’ chat.
Hopefully you’ll live healthily and happily until you’re 156, but death’s an issue for all to consider and the older you are the sooner it’s likely. So talk your loved through a Death Happens Checklist, including arranging who’d look after any dependants, funeral planning and care.
11. Get a Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney means in the event you lose your faculties (stroke / dementia / accident), someone else can take over your affairs. Without one, loved ones need go through the usually hard, horrid & costly process of applying in court. And, importantly, if you’ve assets, ensure you’re choosing what happens to them with a Free or Cheap Will.
12. Historic sites for less.
Age 60+. Lots of discounted memberships for places such as English Heritage and National Trust, meaning days out to classy places at pleasing prices.
13. Cut your energy bill ‘by £500/yr’ even WITHOUT SWITCHING.
The best way to save is to do a Cheap Energy Club comparison to find your cheapest, get £30 cashback and let us monitor your bills afterwards so we can let you know when to switch again. Yet some older people are reticent to change firm, so there is another way. Most people are on their energy provider’s standard tariff, but all Big 6 firms have cheaper deals. For example, with typical use, EDF’s standard tariff is £1,069/yr, but its cheapest deal’s just £800/yr – the only difference is price.
14. Car insurers will fleece you if you auto-renew.
All drivers. While not specifically an age issue, some older drivers find it tough to access cheap cover. Don’t be gulled into staying with the same insurer every year. Auto-renewing is a fine for apathy. Some even find their own insurer’s £100s cheaper as a new customer than via renewal.
15. 10% off Senior Railcard.
Age 60+. Get a third off off-peak train travel with a Senior Railcard plus there’s a 10% code off the card making it £27 instead of the usual £30 until 30 Jun, see senior railcard deals. Plus check if you’re entitled to free bus & tube travel.
16. Care for somebody? 200,000 are missing out on carer’s credit.
While there are carers of all ages, many over-50s are carers, and many needing care are over 50. There’s a special protection to ensure you get enough national insurance contributions for the state pension, but many are missing out.
17. Get a free TV licence.
Age 75+. You don’t need to pay, regardless of anyone else’s age in your home. Bag a free £145.50 TV licence.
18. Age barriers for mortgages have thankfully risen.
Age 50+. A number of banks are raising their upper limits – the age by which you must pay off the home loan. Lloyds and Halifax recently upped it by five years to 80 and Nationwide will up it by 10 yrs to 85 in July.
19. Grab a free £70+ passport.
Age 87+. If you were born on or before 2 Sept 1929, you can apply for a free 10yr passport. Get the form at your local post office or call the Passport Office on 0300 222 0000.
20. Could you have a forgotten pension idling in lost accounts?
Many do but don’t know it. Check now – a 10-minute search can uncover old bank accounts, pensions, life assurance & investments.
(Article source: Martin Lewis – Money Saving Expert)