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How to save money in retirement

Which? members reveal their money-saving tips

fare savings travel

A Senior Railcard costs £30 and entitles you to a 33% discount on rail fares for one year 

Retirement not only brings the reward of time – there are tangible financial benefits too. 

You can pocket extra cash across a variety of activities and everyday expenses, even if you’ve yet to retire.

During July and August in 2015, we asked 1,314 members about the savings they’d made since retirement or reaching the age of 60. Some will be waiting for you, but others might need to be sought out. 

  • Throughout the year, we survey thousands of Which? members to see how they save money on everyday bills, services and purchases. You can see the full range of our members’ money-saving tips by trialling Which? for £1

Defer your state pension

Many members told us about their decision to defer their state pension

Doing this for just five weeks can increase your earnings by 1%. For each year you choose to do this, your state pension could grow by 10.4%. 

Some of the members we questioned had topped theirs up by as much as £4,000.

Find out more: what’s happening to the state pension in 2016? – get clued up on next year’s changes 

Apply for travel discounts

A bus pass is one of the first freebies that might come to mind, but you’ll have to apply for it yourself. It’s not automatically issued in the way other statutory benefits are (such as a free TV licence at age 75). 

Other discounts can be found by purchasing a Senior Railcard or Coachcard, especially if you travel frequently by either means.

Many members made significant savings with the Senior Railcard. It costs £30 for one year, but the discounts should quickly override that cost. For one member, the card paid for itself in a single journey when he saved £100 on First Class tickets to Edinburgh.  

If you live in London, you can travel on bus, tube and tram services for free with a Freedom Pass, once you reach the qualifying age (which is 66 for those born on or after 6 October 1954). If you were born before that, you can travel for free on London’s public transport using a 60+ Oyster photo card, provided you’re a resident.

Find out more: best and worst train companies – see our reviews

Shop to your advantage

You may already have a Boots Advantage Card, but once you reach 60 you can receive even more points on purchases. You’ll get up to ten points for each pound you spend on Boots’ own products, as well as 25% off glasses and opticians and 15% off hearing aids. One member saved £200 over the past year, by using their points on several large purchases.

Specsavers offers a 25% discount on prescription glasses to over-60s, but it may also be worth enquiring about a discount in other opticians too. 

Also, you can save money on the cost of DIY, decoration or homeware by joining the B&Q over-60s Diamond Club. Members of this club can save 10% on most purchases when shopping in B&Q on a Wednesday. 

Find out more: top of the shops survey – see which shops took top spot

Save on sports and entertainment

Wherever you go for leisure, it’s always worth enquiring about a senior discount. Just make sure you have ID, especially if you don’t look your age.

Whether you prefer the cinema, theatre, a football match or even a pub lunch, many venues offer a discount for those over 60 or 65. 

Some places may even have dedicated clubs for older people, as one member found when they joined the ‘Silver Screen’ club at their local Picture House cinema.

Many professional football clubs offer discounts for older fans. One member told us he saves £156 each year on tickets to watch Southend United play. 

Find out more: 50 ways to save money – our all-inclusive money-saving guide

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