Steps to take after 60 to get your finances in shape

Written by Nigel Simpkins

It’s never too late to get your finances in shape. Here are a few steps you can take after 60 to get your finances on track or to lend you a helping hand when you need it most.

Find out what financial assistance you are entitled to

At a certain age in the UK, you may qualify for certain government benefits like housing benefits, pension credits, attendance allowances and council tax reduction. You can also qualify for a cold weather payment and health costs. Visit the GOV.UK website to get updated information and make use of these benefits to save on out-of-pocket expenses where you can.

There are a number of ways that pensioners in the UK can find out what financial assistance is available to them. One way is to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which is responsible for administering benefits for pensioners. 

The DWP website includes a list of benefits that are available, as well as information on how to apply for them. Another source of information is Age UK, a charity that provides advice and support for older people. Age UK provides a range of services, including an advice line and website where pensioners can find information on benefits and other financial assistance. 

Pensioners can also speak to their local Citizens Advice Bureau, which can provide detailed advice on the best way to access benefits and other support. By using these resources, pensioners in the UK can ensure that they are aware of all the financial assistance that is available to them.

Keep an eye on your energy bills

One of the best ways to reduce your energy bill is to make your home more energy-efficient. There are a number of simple measures you can take to achieve this, such as draught-proofing your windows and doors, insulating your loft and walls, and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs. 

You can also save money by being more mindful of your energy usage. Simple things like turning off lights when you leave a room, not leaving electrical appliances on standby, and washing your clothes at a lower temperature can all help to reduce your energy consumption. By making some small changes, you can make a big difference to your energy bill.

Prepayment meters

You can use a prepayment meter to pay for your gas or electricity as you go. You may add money to your meter using a key or card, which you can fill up at local shops. There are several advantages to utilizing prepayment meters. Billing errors are less frequent, and incorrect energy consumption estimates aren’t a problem.

There’s also a maximum limit on how much energy suppliers may charge you per unit of electricity and gas under most standard variable prepayment plans. This implies a maximum amount that energy suppliers can charge you per unit of electricity and gas, but your bill will still differ based on how much energy you consume.

Smart meters

Every household in England, Wales, and Scotland is entitled to a smart meter. You won’t have to pay for a smart meter to be put in. Smart meters track how much gas or electricity you use and immediately send regular readings to your energy provider. This eliminates the need to take meter readings and could result in more accurate bills (though it’s still a good idea to double-check that your bills are correct).

Take charge of your debt

If you are struggling to manage your debts, there are several organisations in the UK that can offer free advice and support. The government website Money Advice Service offers impartial advice on a wide range of financial topics, including debt management. 

Another useful website is StepChange, which provides free debt counselling and offers a range of debt management plans. There are also a number of charities that can provide debt advice, such as National Debtline and Citizens Advice. If you need help managing your debts, there are plenty of organisations that can offer free advice and support.

Can a debt adviser really help me?

If you’re struggling to keep up with your debts, it can be tough to know where to turn for help. There are many different options available, and it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you. One option is to seek out the services of a debt advisor. A debt advisor can provide you with expert guidance on how to get your finances back on track. 

They can help you create a budget, negotiate with creditors, and develop a plan to pay off your debts. In some cases, they may even be able to negotiate a lower interest rate on your behalf. If you’re considering whether or not to seek the help of a debt advisor, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. 

On the one hand, a debt advisor can provide you with invaluable guidance and support. On the other hand, their services can also be expensive. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to seek the help of a debt advisor is a personal one that should be based on your specific circumstances.

How to trace lost money?

Thousands of pounds in the United Kingdom lie unclaimed in dormant bank accounts. It is free and simple to check for any inactive bank accounts, insurance policies, retirement benefits, or premium bonds, so if you believe you may have a lost account, it’s well worth finding out.

You can also use the ‘My Lost Account service’. It allows you to search for any missing bank, building society, and National Savings & Investments (NS&I) accounts or savings. This incredible project was brought to us by the British Bankers’ Association, the Building Societies Association, the British Bankers’ Association, and NS&I. It might take three months for a firm to complete its inquiry. You may also use Gretel, the new and completely free online community, to reconnect you with any missing money in the United Kingdom.

Make sure your life insurance policies remain intact

If you’ve been investing in life insurance policies, now is the time to ensure they remain intact to have total peace of mind that all your personal affairs will be well taken care of in the event of your passing. If you’ve never had a life insurance policy, you can look into specialised over 60s life insurance policies to get one in place.