Missing out on money?

However well you plan for retirement, unexpected costs can crop up – especially if you’re one of the 1.3 million Brits who support both older relatives and children1. The good news is that there are lots of ways to boost your funds to help you lead the lifestyle you want.

Here’s how. 

Don’t miss out on a bargain

Wisdom isn’t the only advantage of getting older – there are some great freebies and discounts too.

  • Free buses: the age you can get a free bus pass depends on where you live. You can check your postcode to find out what this means for you. 
  • Train travel: If you’re over 60 you can buy a Senior Railcard that cuts a third off UK fares. Or you could travel Europe with an Interrail senior discount.
  • Cheaper days out: all sorts of popular spots offer discounts – there are senior memberships for English Heritage and the National Trust, for example. National Trust for Scotland membership is worth a look too – it’s usually cheaper but you could still get access to National Trust sites south of the border.
  • Cheaper leisure: Lots of cinemas offer discounts or special screenings, like Odeon Silver Cinema (if you’re 55+) or Vue Senior Screenings (60+). If you’re after something more active, try your local gym. Many offer off-peak memberships that might suit your schedule.
  • Savvy shopping: Some shops offer specific deals or discounts, like Specsavers and Boots, but you might be surprised how many will give a discount if you just ask. Time for some haggling?

Don’t miss out on entitlements

A government report has shown that up to 1.3 million families who could have claimed Pension Credit didn’t – missing out on an average of £2,500 a year2. And 81,000 eligible grandparents who help care for young grandchildren reportedly haven’t claimed for National Insurance credits known as specified adult childcare credits3.

There are all sorts of benefits and entitlements that you or your family might qualify for. Some, like the Winter Fuel Payment, aren’t related to income. Here’s how to check:

Make the most of what you’ve got

There are lots of ways to make a bit more from what you might already have. Here are a few ideas:

  • Got a spare room? Rent it out by the night with AirBnB. Or you could get a lodger and earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free with the Rent a Room Scheme
  • Got an interesting home? Register it with a location agency, to be used for filming or photoshoots.
  • Need to declutter first? A car boot sale or online auction could turn that clutter into cash.
  • Don’t need your car every day? Hire it out with car-sharing sites like Drivy or Turo. And your parking space or driveway too – YourParkingSpace says its members earn an average of £1,000+ a year4.
  • Got handy skills? You could work part time, or as a consultant. Or turn a hobby into pocket money doing something you enjoy. This could be anything from making handbags to beauty therapy, as this film shows. (Just remember that money earned after State Pension age is still taxable.)
  • Lost track of some cash? There’s an estimated £850m in ‘lost’ bank accounts5 and more than 1.5m unclaimed Premium Bonds prizes6 . The Money Advice Service has a handy guide to tracking them down. Don’t forget to track pension pots too.
  • Looking at investments? You might find our information on risk vs reward or how to manage your portfolio useful if you’re exploring the right approach for you. 

Looking for more ideas? Share. Getting the family to team up is a great approach to finding ways to save money or boost income together.