Retirement gets a bad press. It’s easy for the media to depict Britain’s golden years as a time of poverty and financial strife, but the truth is that retiring actually offers numerous opportunities to save money where elsewhere it might have been too difficult.
Here are the best ways you can have a great retirement and save plenty of cash along the way.
One of the most significant savings you can make when you finish work is on your house. Even with a paid-off mortgage, houses have ongoing expenses, including maintenance and insurance. Downsizing allows you to claim the equity on your large home by moving into a smaller, less costly abode. Plus, you pocket the sell.
At the top of your agenda may be moving somewhere with a sea view or even just closer to the grandchildren, but you have to consider how location will impact your monthly expenditure. Is the local public transport flexible? How far away are the amenities? Your retirement “castle” may be a lush bargain, but if it’s four miles away from the local supermarket, then you need to reconsider.
Good news for bill payers: the “Big Six” energy companies have recently been urged to charge less for their services thanks to recent savings they’ve managed to make from cuts to green levies. This is great news because it means you can make significant savings on your bills, but even so, shop around; the market at the moment is a little more competitive. You could strike gold.
Access Your Pension Fund
This is a no-brainer for most of us once we retire. However, if you are lucky enough to quit work before the age of 55, you may think it’s impossible to access your pension pot for a few years. This is not strictly true – you just need to have the right advice.
Aside from energy, there are loads of other services that you could pay less for. With the kids having flown the nest, you probably don’t need the super-fast broadband you’re paying excess for, or your all-inclusive satellite subscription. Take it as an opportunity to encourage yourself to read, on top of saving.
Review Your Policies
You might find that in retirement, some insurance policies get cheaper if you shop around, and some just become redundant. For example, you can cancel life insurance policies if your children are financially stable and write a will instead. Go through your policies and compare them online for a better deal.
Speaking of checking online, it’s worth taking advantage of the delivery services that supermarkets have implemented over the last half a decade or so. You’ll not only save money on petrol, but it’s also far easier to compare prices between shops. Plus, as a bonus, you won’t fall victim to those impulse purchases you might make in-store.
Sell a Car
When you’re retired, you shouldn’t need more than one car between you and your partner. Selling off an extra car provides you with the immediate monetary fix of the sale, but further along the line you’ll feel the benefit of not having to pay extra road tax, car insurance, or petrol prices.
Learn Useful Skills
Learning to sew in retirement can see your clothes last two or three times longer, meaning that you spend two to three times less. It works across the board: learn the basics of plumbing to troubleshoot piping issues without having to pay for a call-out service; check out online tutorials for repairing appliances. It saves a huge amount of money on maintenance in the long-run.
Stop Supporting Adult Children
This one might be difficult to hear, but at some point altruism and self-preservation have to strike a balance. Aside from draining your bank account, supporting adult children can actually prevent them from becoming fully independent. You have to prepare them for a time when you won’t be around; give them an opportunity to flourish on their own.