Five things women in their 60s need to know about money
Women in their 60s are able to access a range of benefits as they technically become pensioners, and many will stop working.
But stopping work, or even slowing down your work, doesn’t mean your life needs to slow down and you still may be enjoying everything you were doing before this age.
If you’re planning on winding down your working hours, your income is also going to decrease and therefore it’s an important time to have a financial review.
Plus, there’s also the state pension and any private pension incomes to take into account. When you reach state pension age you’ll also stop paying National Insurance, even if you’re still working.
Here we look at five financial areas to focus on for women in their 60s.
A Senior Railcard costs £30 and cuts a third off the price of standard or first-class off-peak travel.
Freebies when you’re in your 60s
A bonus of your 60s is a range of benefits you are now entitled to.
These include a free bus pass, which you can apply for when you reach the state pension age in England. This is currently 66 but is set to rise.
At 60 you can apply for free travel on public transport in London and for travel in Wales.
Anyone aged 60 and over also gets free NHS prescriptions and eye tests. If you’re claiming pension guarantee credit or other benefits and you don’t have your state pension yet, you’ll be entitled to free NHS dental care.
Cheaper travel and days out for pensioners
Along with government benefits, there are also a host of other discounts and deals available for those in their 60s and older from private companies.
These include discounts on travel, utilities and leisure activities. Visiting an art gallery, museum or the cinema is usually a lot cheaper as concession tickets are available, and many restaurants, cafes and pubs have weekday discounted deals for pensioners.
For travelling around the country, you can also buy a Senior Railcard for £30, which cuts 30% off the price of standard or first-class off-peak travel.
National Express offers a similar card for £12.50 which reduces ticket prices by a third.
Caring for grandchildren? You could claim extra benefits
If you regularly look after your grandchildren, perhaps when your children are working, it’s possible to claim what’s called Specified Adult Childcare credits.
They are a way of topping up your National Insurance (NI) contributions and around £2,676 could be added to your state pension by doing so.
It works by your children signing over their NI credits to you if the child you’re looking after is under the age of 12.
You can apply via the Gov.uk website.
Claim pension credit if you’re eligible
You can start claiming the state pension when you reach 66 (although this is changing).
The amount you get depends on a range of factors including how many years you have of National Insurance (NI) contributions.
There’s also pension credit to claim for those who can.
It tops up your state pension if you’re on a low income to £177.10 for single people and £270.30 if you’re part of a couple.
You can apply via the Gov.uk website, or by calling the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.
Equity release does allows you to release some of the money in your home
Release money from your home - for a fee
If you’re in your sixties and you own your own home (even if there’s still a mortgage to pay), but you’re short of cash, one option is equity release.
It does what it says on the tin and allows you to release some of the money in your home.
This can be put towards anything from home improvements to helping children get on the property ladder.
However, it’s not the only option.
Downsizing, for example, could also free up some cash and it’s not going to extend your mortgage.
There are lots of ways to release equity, and you can usually choose from a lump sum or a regular income to receive.
The money is usually then paid off from your estate when you die.
However, this means there will be less for anyone left behind, such as family members.
It also comes with a cost so, before signing up, it’s important to read all the details so you’re aware exactly how much you’re going to pay for being able to get hold of the money early.
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Don’t forget that while you may think that this article is brilliant, it is intended for information purposes only and should not be mistaken for financial advice or recommendations.