We’re now almost halfway through September and we find ourselves in Pension Awareness Week, running from the 12th to the 16th of the month.
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With the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the public response to the events of the last week dominating the deadlines, it’d be no surprise if this particular theme had completely passed you by. As we move beyond this period of mourning, however, many older people and those preparing for retirement will find themselves heading into the winter months with ongoing worries about interest rates, energy bills and a general cost-of-living crisis accompanying or even delaying their plans for retirement.
We are not financial experts at Autumn Voices, but we were recently contacted by people who are, with some useful information that might just help those entering their seventh decade and planning their retirements.
A blogger called Tom Philips at Equity Release Warehouse got in touch to pass along some tips and advice for older people looking to save money in retirement, in the form of what he describes as a ‘useful and actionable guide’ titled ‘Tips for Pensioners for Surviving the Cost-of-Living-Crisis’.
This handy guide covers everything from state pension top-ups to council tax to saving money on household bills and modifications in the home designed to save people money and energy.
AgeUK also have an online benefits calculator to allow you to input information to see what state benefits and other forms of support you may be entitled to, to help you save money. The charity also has an advice line, which is free to call year-round, from 8am to 7pm (0800 678 1602) and they have a section of their website dedicated to pensions, alongside other financial matters.
We’ve also noted that Citizen’s Advice Scotland has a specific section on their website to help people prepare for retirement and get their finances in order. This covers all things pension-related and includes a comprehensive checklist of things to do when you’re nearing retirement.
You can also access information, support and guidance from the following sources:
- MoneyHelper (formerly the Money Advice Service and the Pensions Advisory Service). This also includes help for people who are self-employed in creative or other sectors.
- The UK Government’s website.
Keep an eye out in your local area for regional and community initiatives and services.
Whatever money matters you are dealing with, we hope you can find the right source of advice and support. ?
The Autumn Voices Team
Our flash theme for September is Memory, Money, or Mates!
Is it technically autumn yet, or still summer? It’s very warm, but we’ve started noticing spiders so it must be September, but only just. This month, it’s #WorldAlzheimersMonth and Oddfellows Friendship Month and September also offers us Pension Awarness Week. This means our minds are on all things memory, connection and security for older people.
We’ll be featuring some content on the website about Alzheimers and dementia, financial matters and the art of friendship and connection. These are also the themes of our monthly flash competition, which is back to being a poem/prose/memoir this month, although accompanying photos are always welcome.
Are you aged 60 or over? Send us your flash entries! Tell us something about memory, money or mates.
Entries will be accepted until midnight on September 30th and we’ll pick our favourite in early October, which is, by cunning coincidence, when our poetry competition starts, so sharpen your pens for that. The winner will receive a copy of “The Book About Getting Older” by Dr Lucy Pollock which has been kindly donated by Penguin and their entry will be published on the Autumn Voices website.