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How to save money in retirement

Our Which? tips to minimise your expenditure

With longevity on the up and the latest inflation figures meaning bad news for pensioners, saving money in retirement has never been more important. Which? Money shows you how to make your money go further in retirement.

1. Free bus pass

Like the rest of the UK, if you’re born before 6 April 1950 you’ll get a free bus pass at age 60 – which could save you around £500 a year if you live in a big city. But if you’re a woman born between 6 April 1950 and 6 December 1953, you’ll get your bus pass when you collect your state pension – between age 60 and age 65. Men born after 6 April 1950 can claim their free bus pass when they reach the pension age of a woman born on the same day.

2. Senior railcard

The cheap travel doesn’t stop with buses – you can cut your annual train fares by a third if you’re over 60. A senior railcard costs £28 a year, while a three-year railcard costs £65. But watch out for peak time restrictions in London and the South East, as discounts may not apply at these times. For more information on cheap train travel, check out our guide to cheap train tickets.

3. Stay warm for less

The winter fuel allowance, first introduced in 1998, is well worth taking advantage of. If you were born before 5 July 1951 you can claim an amount up to the £200 maximum (£300 if you are aged 80 or above) to help keep you warm this winter. The amount you can claim depends on your age. Learn more about the winter fuel allowance in our energy grants guide.

4. Discount dining

If you’re over age 50 you can get discounts on meals in pubs and carveries with the Diamond Club. Membership is free and you can sign up on the phone or online at www.diamondclubcard.co.uk to get your card.

5. Cut-price cinema tickets

Big chain cinemas like Odeon, Vue and Empire offer cheaper cinema tickets to older film buffs. They put on special ‘senior screenings’ during the day and sometimes throw in a few free refreshments too. 

6. Cheap healthcare

The cost of an NHS prescription currently costs £7.65 in England – but if you’re over age 60 you won’t pay a penny. You can also get free eye tests on the NHS, and if you need new glasses, Specsavers offers a 25% discount on certain ranges. 

7. TV for free

Save the £145.50 TV license fee by applying for a free one. If you’re over age 75 you can claim a free license, which also covers other people living at your address. Not 75 yet? If you’re 74 you can apply for a short-term license that’s valid until the end of the month before your 75th birthday.

8. 10% off DIY

Are you a bit handy around the house? Get 10% off at B&Q every Wednesday with the store’s free Diamond Card. You can fill the membership form out in store or online at www.diy.com.

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