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Your retirement

Retirement planning has changed dramatically and people have more freedom and choice.

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7 great financial benefits you can get during your retirement

Friday, April 15, 2016

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For many people, retirement may seem a long way off. For others, it’s just around the corner. But whatever your age, retired life is one of the most important things to be planning for.

As well as changes to pensions and benefits, there are all sorts of extra discounts and free offers to take advantage of once you retire. Here are some of the best.

  • Travel the UK for a discount
  • A potential tax reduction
  • Get discounts on leisure activities

1. You get free or discounted travel

If you’re over 60, you can travel for free on local buses in London, Wales and Scotland. Across the rest of the UK you can get a free bus pass when you reach the female state pension age – even if you’re a man.

This Government calculator will tell you from what age you will qualify. Anyone over 60 can also apply for a Senior Rail Card. Costing £30 for the year, the railcard gives you one-third off train tickets. Living in Greater London? You can also get a 60+ Oyster card from Transport for London.

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2. You could get a top-up to your State Pension

If you only have your State Pension to rely on, or limited additional income, you may be able to claim Pension Credit during your retirement. This tops up your overall weekly income to a certain level – currently £151.20 for single people and £230.85 for couples. You can check eligibility on gov.uk.

3. Money off your Council Tax

The Council Tax discount is granted at a local rather than national level and depends on your income. Pensioners on low incomes can receive a reduction in Council Tax, but the rules are complicated so see gov.uk for more details.

4. A chance to fund your dreams

Recent Government changes mean that from the age of 55 you can access money from your pension, depending on the scheme you have taken out. This means you could take out a lump sum to fund something you really want to do but never found the time for.

Retiring doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting to grow older. These days, retirees often find a whole new life waiting for them with new hobbies, part-time jobs or travelling to be done. You can read some real-life stories on Love Retirement.

To help fund your plans, there are multiple options for annuities to convert your pension savings into cash to pay out across your senior years.

5. You receive help to keep you warm

The eligibility date for the Winter Fuel Payment changes each year. Currently, you would have qualified for the current 2016-17 winter period if you were born on, or before, January 5th 1953.

Check gov.uk for the updated rules. It is not means-tested and is tax-free. Payment is made before Christmas and amounts to between £100 and £300.

Cold Weather Payments are also available to those receiving Pension Credit from the Government and amount to £25 each time the temperature drops below zero for any consecutive seven-day period.

6. Watch your television without paying a fee

When you hit 74, it’s time to apply for a Free TV Licence. This kicks in from the moment you hit 75 and covers your whole household, even if others living there are under 75. However, it won’t automatically become free – you need to apply so check out tvlicensing.co.uk for more details.

7. Other small but useful benefits

Anyone over 60 gets free NHS prescriptions and eyesight tests. You may also be eligible for financial help with glasses or contact lenses, depending on your level of Pension Credit.

Did you know that, once you’ve begun receiving your State Pension, you also qualify for a £10 Christmas Bonus from the Government each year?

Also, check out offers such as the Diamond Club Card, which gives discounts at pubs and restaurants, Odeon’s Silver Cinema, for discounted movie viewing, and B&Q’s Diamond Club, which offers 10% off every Wednesday. There are many other concessions offers and discount loyalty cards available, so keep your eyes peeled.

These are just a few of the great benefits and discounts you could receive as you approach retirement age or begin enjoying it.


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