Benefits for over 60s
Turning 60 needn’t be a watershed to dread – there are loads of exciting benefits for over 60s out there, and we’ve found them. This article came about when we were asked a question:
With this in mind, we went away and found the very best benefits for over 60s. However, if you’ve found any other fantastic goodies and discounts, or have any more questions, make sure you let us know in the Comments section below!
- Boost your retirement income with our FREE guides
- Valuable money-making ideas for over 60s
- Moneymagpie Top Tip
- Free benefits and great discounts for over 60s
- Get the financial benefits you’re entitled to
- Get more out of your savings
- Insurance policies for over 60s
- Get cheaper home insurance
- Best travel insurance for over 60s
- Free prescriptions and free eye tests.
- Save money at Specsavers with a 25% discount when you buy glasses and lenses costing over £69.
- Adult education – There are grants and discounts for senior citizens wanting to take adult education classes. Talk to your local council or directly to the university/college offering the course to find out more.
- Free bus pass – If you live in England and were born before 5 April 1950 you now get free off-peak travel anywhere in England. Off-peak travel is any time between 9.30am and 11pm Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends. Click here for information about Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you were born after 5 April 1950 you can find out when you’re eligible for your free bus pass right here.
- Coach discounts – In England and Wales, if you’re over 60, you can purchase a Senior Coachcard for £10, which will give you a third off all National Express coach fares.
- Train discounts – Get a Senior Railcard which costs £30 for one year (or £70 for three years, saving you £20) and gives you a third off all standard and first class rail tickets. Buy one online here, phone 08448 714 036, or pick one up at your local station’s ticket office.
- Save even more on trains – Search and book for train tickets on the great website Redspottedhanky.com and you can not only save up to 80%, but you also earn loyalty points. Get one loyalty point per £1 spent and then redeem these points against future train journeys.
- Save in London – If you live in the capital, get yourself a Freedom Pass which will allow you to travel for free on buses, tubes, trains and trams in London. Be aware, though, that people born on or after 6 April 1950 are no longer eligible to have a Freedom Pass on their 60th birthday as the eligibility age is rising in line with the woman’s state pension age. People born on or after 6 October 1954 will have to wait until they are 66 to be eligible. You can find out exactly when you’ll be eligible on the Freedom Pass website.
- Free passport – if you were born on or before 2 September 1929 you can get a free passport. If you’ve applied for a passport since 19 May 2004, apply for a refund. See here for more.
- Discounts for the over 60s on annual and life memberships from The National Trust.
- Free TV licence – If you’re over 75 you can get a TV licence for free. If you’re 74 you can get a short-term licence that’ll be valid until the end of the month before your 75th. To apply call 0300 790 6073 and have your current TV licence number and National Insurance number at the ready.
- Free insulation – British Gas are offering the over 70s or British Gas customers free loft and cavity insulation for a limited time only. You have to take part in a telephone survey to apply for the offer; simply register an interest on the British Gas website by arranging a call back, and they’ll call you back to complete the survey and see if you qualify for the deal.
- Free gas safety checks – Many gas suppliers offer free safety checks for over 60s – simply contact your provider to see if you’re eligible. Gas Safe Register offer a free gas safety inspection if you’ve had work carried out in the last six months, along with useful gas safety advice for vulnerable people.
- DIY and garden savings – Get a B&Q Diamond Card and receive 10% off every Wednesday. Join The Garden Centre Group’s Gardening Club and build up points for 5% of what you spend, plus over 60s get double points on Tuesdays.
- Repairs and improvements – Tradesman such as painters, plumbers and electricians may offer senior citizen discounts so don’t forget to check!
- Theatre and cinema offers – Discount tickets are often available for over 60s, although they’re not normally advertised so you may need to call your local theatre or cinema and ask.
- Swimming and gym reductions – Many local pools offer free swimming for senior citizens at certain times, and you can find free or discounted exercise classes at gyms nationwide.
- Cheap hairdressing – Enquire at your nearest salon about any deals they may have, and don’t forget to ask mobile hairdressers.
- Eat out for less – Lots of restaurants and cafes do great deals for senior citizens, particularly at lunchtime. It’s just a case of looking out for these, either advertised outside the restaurant or within the menu. We’ve got a whole list of cheap eats vouchers and 2 for 1 meal deals.
Here’s a rundown of the financial benefits you may be entitled to – simply click on the one you’re interested in to find out more:
- State Pension: The basic allowance.
- Pension Credit: Benefit that tops up your weekly income.
- Council Tax and Housing Benefit: Helping you to pay your Council Tax and rent.
- Funeral payments: Help with the cost of a funeral.
- Winter Fuel Payment: To help with heating bills in the winter months.
- Warm home discount scheme: For winter 2013 to 2014, you could get a £135 discount on your electricity bill.
- Cold Weather Payment: Additional heating allowance for periods of extreme cold weather.
Savings products aimed at the over 60s have grown in recent times, particularly online savings accounts. According to Ofcom, a quarter of all Brits using the internet are over 60, so there’s no reason why all you silver surfers can’t take advantage of any great rates.
Although there are some competitive rates out there for the over 60s, they aren’t necessarily the best products overall, so always shop around and do take into account short-term bonus rates that fall away after a set period (usually six or 12 months). Don’t forget, from 1 July 2014 you will be able to save up to £15,000 in ISAs without paying tax on it. This can be split between a Cash ISA and a Stocks and Shares ISA in anyway you choose.
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Staysure are a rarity amongst insurance groups in that they specialise in policies for over 50s. Staysure offer a wide range of cover, including home, travel, motor and medical insurance, all tailored for customers aged 50 and over. Their experience means they understand that the needs of over 50s vary from those of younger clients. Although you may still be fit, active and adventurous, perhaps you don’t want to take the same risks you might have in the past.
Staysure make the often tiresome quote process quick and simple with their online quote system. You complete one short form and within seconds they’ll have their best quote for you. If you choose to take out a policy, the purchase process is just as easy, backed up by friendly and efficient customer service. For your reassurance, there’s a 14-day cancellation period and Staysure are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
For older people with underlying health problems, getting travel insurance can be a long, difficult and expensive process. Staysure offer cover for minor ailments and serious medical conditions, including over 220 pre-existing conditions, at no extra cost. Your health is something which probably becomes more of an issue as you reach middle age, so it’s worth considering Staysure’s over 50s health insurance for less than £10 per month.
If you’re 60 or over, you can often benefit from cheaper home insurance. Many companies offer special discounts to this market, as they recognise that older people generally make fewer and smaller claims, and therefore offer cheaper policies (especially if you live in a low-crime area). Some insurance providers also offer higher buildings and contents cover and/or new for old replacement on damaged or stolen items. It’s worth using a general comparison tool like Confused.com to get a broad sweep of the market. However, comparison sites don’t always pick up the best specialist deals that are available to those aged 60 or over.
Therefore, we recommend that you check out:
Castle Insurance – Castle Insurance specialises in providing cover for over 50s customers. A recent report by ConsumerIntelligence revealed that 10% of customers aged 50 or over could save over £150 on their home insurance with Castle. Their service has won several customer satisfaction awards and you can get a quote in under a minute, so why not give it a go?
Ecclesiastical – Ecclesiastical is Which? number one recommended provider for home insurance, so they are well worth checking out. You save 10% when buying online, and you save a further 10% if you buy both contents and building insurance. Not only that, Ecclesiastical is also the eighth biggest UK corporate donor to charity, and gives all its available profit to charity, so you can feel good about going with them!
Equity release schemes Equity release schemes are only available to those over the age of 60. Equity is the value of property in excess of any charges on it. So, for example, if your house is worth £100,000 and you have a mortgage on it of £70,000 and no other secured loans, you have £30,000 equity.
Equity release is a way of getting cash from the property without selling it. This can be a useful way of getting hold of some money, especially if you’ve got a lot of money in land and assets, but are cash poor. On the other hand, once you’ve died or moved into care, the loan (and the interest) will have to be paid off by your children. Most independent watchdogs and advisors would say that this is only something to be entered into as a last resort.
Be wary, though, as we’ve heard some shocking stories of a lot of older people being swindled. Quite a bit has been done recently to regulate these schemes with the help of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). For more information and advice, take a look at our full article on equity release schemes.
We get asked a lot about travel insurance for over 60s, so we’re always on the lookout for great offers. However Staysure aside, seniors’ deals tend to be aimed at 65s and above. Undeterred, we’ve put together a couple of pointers about how you can get cheap travel insurance at 65 plus.
Flexicover provides reasonable cover for those aged 65 and over – you’d be looking at around £90 for annual multi-trip cover in Europe, for example.
Finding it hard to get insured? If you find it hard to get insurance (perhaps because of your age or a medical condition) make sure you try AllClear. We were impressed by the cover they offered to pensioners (who often struggle to get adequate travel insurance cover) and the fact that the cost of their premiums are calculated much more fairly than most other insurers (so a 65 year old will pay less than a 75 year old, for example) Visit the AllClear website to find out more and get a quote.
For more information, we’ve got a whole article dedicated to cheaper travel insurance for over 65s – it’s got everything you need to know, so take a look.
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According to Ofcom, a quarter of all Brits using the internet are over 60 – so why not make some extra cash from the comfort of your computer?