It’s a fact of life – we’re all getting older! Across the planet, the population is ageing and in the UK we’re no different. According to the Office for National statistics (ONS), it’s estimated that by 2042 in the UK, 24% of the population will be over 65!
Getting older often means accepting more support than we needed before. Retirement has an effect on the spare money we have to spend on the more exciting things in life, while the physical realities of getting older mean we may need adjustments to our living situation. For those nearing that time we’ve put together a list of the help that’s out there to support us:
The State Pension is available to anybody over the state pension age – currently that means men born after 6th April 1951 and women born after 6th April 1953.
The amount received is not means tested and is available to anyone who has made enough contributions to National Insurance over the course of their life. You can track your contributions on the HMRC site here. State Pension currently stands at £175.20 per week.
This is extra credit to top up the State Pension to guarantee a certain amount of income per month. This amount may differ according to whether someone has saved for retirement or not.
Council Tax Reduction
This one is actually available at any age! If you find yourself living on your own, or living with somebody that has dementia, you will be eligible for a 25% discount on your Council Tax.
Winter Fuel Payment
Those receiving State Pension may be able to claim a tax-free payment between £100 and £300 to help with gas and electricity bills in the colder months. You can read more about support to help you during the winter months here.
Help with Health
Once you’re over the age of 60, both eye tests and prescriptions are free!
Dental care still costs money but if you are claiming other benefits besides a state pension, you may be eligible for free dental care when you’re 60+.
In August this year, free TV licenses for all people over 75 became a thing of the past. Now, only those receiving Pension Credit will be eligible for a free TV licence.
Help Getting Around
Once you reach 65 in England and Wales, everybody is eligible for a free bus pass. In London that also includes the tube, overground trains and trams within the city.
There is also a Senior Railcard for anyone aged 60 or over, which gives you 1/3 off train travel around the UK.
There’s a lot of different types of benefits to keep in mind when you’re preparing for retirement. To make things simple, Turn2us have created a benefits calculator to understand what you’re eligible for and how much money that stands for.
Beyond financial benefits to keep us secure, there are also emotional and social benefits to look forward to as we get older. Watching our family or friends’ families grow, choosing new hobbies, getting the chance to share your knowledge, teach from your years of experience and in some cases, let loose…
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.”
The HomeSwapper Customer Support team are always on hand to give advice and tips on how to get the most from HomeSwapper. They deal with Swappers every day and have a unique insight and view on the thousands of successful swaps that take place on HomeSwapper.