Five things women in their 70s need to know about money 

Written by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
23 February 2022
4 min read
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Most women in their seventies will have stopped working full time and be living off a combination of the State Pension, a private pension and savings they’ve built up while in employment. 

While life may have slowed down by not working, many of those in their seventies are still living busy, sociable lives. 

It’s an important stage of life when it comes to our cash because if you’re not working, your income will have dropped and the amount of money you must live off will depend on your other income strains. 

Unforeseen events - such as broken boilers, debts, or failed MOTs - can have a bigger impact to your finances, as it’s not as easy to access more money if you need to. 

Therefore, this is a decade to pay particular attention to your money, to make sure you’re set up in the best way possible financially. 

Here’s how to get started. 

If you have pre-existing health conditions, or you’re aged 70 and over, travel insurance is more expensive 

How to find travel insurance without being ripped off 

If you have pre-existing health conditions, or you’re aged 70 and over, the cost of travel insurance is going to be more expensive. 

This is because your risk of claiming on a policy is higher, so insurers will charge you more for your monthly premium. 

This isn’t a reason not to get insurance, or not to declare any medical conditions. 

As if you do need to make a claim and you’ve not been truthful to your insurer, the policy could be invalidated. 

If you travel without insurance, you will need to pay any medical costs - or for anything else that goes wrong such as your luggage going missing, being damaged or stolen

The insurance market is highly competitive, so when buying travel cover it’s important to compare prices and policies. 

Use our travel insurance comparison service  to look at travel insurance policies available to you. 

Simply enter your details – including any pre-existing medical conditions you have – and in just a few minutes you’ll have a selection to choose from. 

When you declare medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show quotes from insurance providers who will cover all declared medical conditions, with no exclusions. 

MoneyHelper has launched a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone if you have more serious medical conditions. 

Find more information at MoneyHelper or by calling them on 0800 138 7777. 

Help with heating your home 

Energy bills are rising by 50% in April 2022, thanks to a huge hike in wholesale prices which is pushing Ofgem’s price cap up to an average of £1,971. 

But if you’re in your seventies, there are a range of benefits you can apply for to help with your energy costs. 

This includes the Winter Fuel Payment, which you’ll get automatically when you reach the state pension age or if you’re receiving some other benefits. 

It is worth £200 per household and £300 if someone in the house is aged 80 or over. 

There is also a cold weather payment of £25 for each seven-day period when the weather reaches zero degrees Celsius between November and March. 

You’ll be able to claim this if you receive a benefit including pension credit, income support or Universal Credit. 

If you’re still struggling, contact your energy provider and speak to them – they may have a programme to help. 

If you’re 74 or older and you or your partner receive Pension Credit you can apply for a free TV Licence 

How will your funeral be paid for? 

It’s not a nice topic to think about, but funeral costs can be expensive. And if you want to leave money to pay for yours, now is the time to think about where that money will come from. 

There are a few options - for example, you could take out a funeral payment plan. 

Several companies offer these and they essentially allow you to pay for your own funeral in advance, and plan everything you would like to happen. 

However, you could also put that money into a savings account, and write down an ‘expression of wish’ document where you can write down where you’d like your pension (or other assets) to go to and what you would like to happen at your funeral. 

You can now get a free TV licence 

On your 75th birthday you’ll be able to claim a free TV licence which is worth £159 or £53.50 for black and white TV sets. 

It covers watching TV, but also using devices for catch-up programmes including BBC iPlayer. 

Claim the benefits you’re entitled to 

As you get older, you may be eligible for new benefits to help with the cost of living. 

These may include the Disability Living Allowance (DLA), worth £152.15 a week, made up of a care component for £89.60 and a mobility component for £62.55. 

It’s now been replaced by the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) which you may receive instead. 

People who receive the DLA are currently being moved onto the PIP scheme. 

There are also benefits available for carers; if you spend more than 35 hours a week looking after someone else the amount available is £67.25 a week. 

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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.