Financial Pitfalls Of Day-To-Day Living In Retirement

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Once you have reached retirement, it’s too late to worry about what might have been if you had saved more while you had a job.

The focus on finances changes tack and you need to consider what steps to take to maximise your spending power on a sometimes severely limited budget.

Problems that mount include maintain your home, replacing your car, inflation increasing the cost of living and how to cope with care bills.

Consumer magazine Which? discussed these problems with retired members.

Many agreed one of the biggest financial problems was sourcing a care home for a relative and then working out how to pay the bills.

How much are care fees?

Not everyone has to pay, but the rules are strict.

Anyone with an ongoing healthcare need can ask the National Health Service to pick up the bill and those with savings of less than £23,250 in England, £27,250 in Scotland or £40,000 in Wales are also exempt.

Care fees can range between £32,000 and £72,000 a year.

Inflation is also a fear for many who do not have index-linked pensions as the Bank of England’s favoured annual rate of around 2.5% outstrips any rise in savings and investments.

Which? suggests annuities are one solution, but although they offer guaranteed income for life, the rate of return is meagre.

Downsizing is another possibility, but moves can go wrong if you move to an area that has a more expensive cost of living.

Rip-off tradesmen

Lots of pensioners are worried that tradesmen will rip them off if they need car or property maintenance.

Finding reliable trades is not easy, but try word-of-mouth recommendations from neighbours or web sites that check references like Trusted Traders or Checkatrade.

Some products and services are more expensive as you age – such as travel, car and health insurance.

Which? says it is not uncommon for cover to double in price or for firms to decline the risk leaving a limited market.

All you can do, says Which?, is shop around for the best quote and do not stick to comparison sites as they often do not have links to specialist providers for the elderly.

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