Make your money go further in retirement
'Silver shoppers' can access a world of discounts
Just because you have stopped working, doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on your quality of life. With a third of the population over the age of 50, a growing number of companies are targeting “silver shoppers” with discounts in an attempt to get them to spend at their business.
Here’s how to make the most of these concessions in order to make your money go further in retirement.
1. Be a savvy spender when it comes to your social life
If you are quite partial to a meal out on the town, worth a look is a free Diamond Club dining card, which has meal offers for the over-50s at more than 100 pubs and restaurants around the UK. Discounts tend to be valid Monday to Friday and typically offer 25pc off your food bill. To apply online and find participating locations, visit diamondclubcard.co.uk.
When it comes to the theatre and cinema, discount tickets are often available for over 60s. Odeon Silver Cinema, for instance, offers cinema tickets from just £3 for those over 55s. What’s more, you can relax and enjoy free tea, coffee, and biscuits when you arrive, which gives you more time unwind and catch up with friends before the film starts. To view screening schedules and buy advance tickets visit odeon.co.uk/silvercinema.
While selected Vue Cinemas offer Seniors Cinema Club screenings for the over 60s every Tuesday and Thursday at 11:30am with tickets just £3.05 for standard seating or £4.75 for VIP seats. Free hot drinks and biscuits are included in the cost of admission. To find out what is playing in your local area, head to myvue.com/offers-competitions/senior-vue.
2. Time to pick up a hobby?
Now that you are retired, why not make the most of your free time and enjoy your favourite hobbies? Many local pools offer free swimming for senior citizens at certain times, and you can find free or discounted exercise classes at gyms nationwide.
For the culture vultures, most museums offer concessions for senior citizens, while those who enjoy looking round lovely buildings and gardens can find reduced memberships at the National Trust (nationaltrust.org.uk) and English Heritage (english-heritage.org.uk). Or maybe you thought about learning new skills or sharing new experiences with like-minded people in your local area?
If this sounds like you, then check out the University of the Third Age (U3A). This nationwide network of learning groups is aimed at encouraging older people no longer in full-time employment to share their knowledge, skills and interests in a friendly environment.
The variety of courses on offer vary with every from stained glass to Scrabble and country dancing to computer skills. Annual memberships cost around £15 with a small charge for each study group attended, ordinarily £1 per week for a two-hour session. Find your local group and visit u3a.org.uk or phone 020 8466 6139.
Check out these cashback offers
3. Save while you shop
If you shop at Boots, an advantage cardholder and over the age of 60, you are eligible for special discounts and deals. For instance, you can earn 10 points for every £1 spent on No7 and Boots-branded products, save 25% off complete glasses at Boots Opticians, 15pc off hearing aids and access to other “exclusive in-store events”. To apply, pick up an application in store or visit Boots.
With both schemes, you must apply in-store and provide proof of age.
4. Travel for less
When it comes to travelling, older people are entitled to a free bus pass and a minimum concession of free off-peak travel on a local bus anywhere in England. For more information and how to apply, contact your local authority.
Train travellers might benefit from a senior railcard, costing £30 for the annual version and £70 for the three-year version. This entitles holders to a third off standard or first-class fares. Find out more at senior-railcard.co.uk.
When it comes to travelling by coach, there is no national concessionary scheme, but it is always worth asking for any available discounts. For just £10 (plus £1.50 p&p), for instance, National Express offers a Senior Coachcard for people who are 60 or over and offers you a third off your travel throughout the year. What’s more, those who are flexible with their travel plans, can travel anywhere in the UK (excluding airports) for just £15 provided you book three days in advance. See National Express to find out more.
5. Keep costs down at home
There are also ways to save at home when you are retired. Many energy suppliers offer free annual gas-safety checks for over 60s, for instance. To find out if you are eligible, simply contact your current energy provider.
If its help around the house you are after, Age UK’s free Handy Van scheme is for over-60s with less than £20,000 in savings. Exact handy person services differ from place to place, but these are the sorts of jobs they can usually help with such as small repairs, installing security systems and fitting smoke alarms. To find out more, call 0800 169 65 65.