The financial benefits of growing older

   We’re all led to believe that we don’t have much to look forward to as we get older, but is that really the case? With medical research constantly finding new treatments and cures for health problems we can expect to live much longer than the traditional ‘three score years and ten’ of our forefathers.
So growing old doesn’t have to mean a life restricted to creaking knees, aching hips and an empty wallet.

Over 60 years of age

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau offers details of the benefits that people over the age of 60 can expect to receive, according to certain criteria in some cases.

The financial benefits of growing older

Although most people no longer qualify to receive state pension at age 60 there are still plenty of financial benefits available for the over 60s. Pension credit can help to top up your income even if you are not drawing your state pension, and other benefits include help with housing costs, winter fuel payments and additional cold weather payments which are available if the temperature drops below a certain level.

The age at which people can start to receive their state pension changes according to your date of birth, so check out the details available on the Citizen’s Advice website to find out how recent changes in pension law affect you and those nearest to you. Where you live in the United Kingdom also plays a part in the benefits you can receive and the age at which you can apply for them, so make sure you are armed with the most up-to-date information and claim your full entitlement.

Free prescriptions and eye tests are just two of the benefits available for the over 60s and many local health authorities organise special rates at certain times of day to anyone over this age, so check what it available in your local area.

Over 50s

Surprisingly, many financial benefits are available for those people who have reached the fairly young age of 50. Newspapers and journals constantly bombard us with the information that middle age now begins at 50, but many service providers consider people above this age to be of particular interest.

Most people over the age of 50 are reasonably financially stable and have good incomes after many years of hard work. Children have usually left home meaning that a household has more disposable income to hand, and with the flightiness of youth long gone, this age bracket is considered to be sensible, safe and mature. This is why home and content insurance for people over 50 is so competitive, with some companies dealing exclusively with this age group.

It’s a similar story with car insurance as companies recognise the safe driving habits of those drivers who have many years of driving under their belts. Premiums drop accordingly and the savings to be had by shopping around can be quite considerable.

Concessions can be found across a wide range of entertainments and activities, so it’s worth looking out for special deals in cinemas, theatres, restaurants and other venues.

Image credit : FreeDigitalPhotos.net Renjith Krishnan

How to Find the Best Deal on Your New Car

 

When shopping for a new car you want to make sure you’re getting it for the best price possible. You can do a lot of work when negotiating and haggling the price with the sales person, but if you’re smart you can save yourself money before you even arrive at the dealership. Use these tips below to ensure you get the best price possible.

cars

Understand What You Want from Your New Car

You will have so many options open to you when it comes to buying a new car. The amount the car will cost you will greatly depend on the choices you make. If you have your heart set on a specific colour remember that it will cost you more to have it manufactured, wouldn’t it be easier to simply buy the colour of the model that is sat on the forecourt? It will certainly save you time and money! The same goes with the optional extras too. Do you really need the higher specifications? If the specs are important to you consider buying a model that’s generally cheaper so you can have the extras.

Play the Dealers Off Against One Another

Many dealerships aim to beat other dealerships on price. There is usually only a small margin to play with but you may be able to persuade the dealer to make a further discount if it means they’re going to close the sale. When buying a car on finance the seller will often be in line for some commission, so they are more likely to be more flexible to ensure they hit their targets and to improve their wage packet for the month. Ask the dealers for their lowest possible price with all fees included and then try your hand at encouraging one dealer to go lower than the other, you never know, it could work out nicely for you and the salesperson.

You Have the Internet, So Use it to Find the Right Deal

Begin your search by using the Internet to your advantage. You’re already researching before heading to the dealership by reading this article so you’re already on the right path. The Internet will help you to avoid the difficult negotiation process from the start; you can begin by comparing prices from the comfort of your own home. It saves you a lot of time as well as money.

The Internet is like the backdoor to the dealership sales department. You can visit websites and find the going rates for the car you want and even use contact forms to ask for some more detailed quotes without having to have a conversation. This is perfect if you know you lack confidence when it comes to negotiations. It’s also useful when you are still in the process of working out what you can afford. A great place to start is cars.co.za. They have a wide selection of dealers so you can find new cars and the best prices and deals in your area or in your budget. Now you know where to go we recommend heading over and spending a few hours seeing what’s available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spending Money to Save Money: Purchases That Pay You Back Over Time

Sometimes it’s true that you’ve got to spend money to save money. Let’s look at some things you can buy that may seem price prohibitive at first but which will pay you back over the long term.

A Smartphone

Smartphones, on both the Android and iOS platforms, are expensive to buy outright and cost even more over the long term when you purchase them on a plan. However, because of the incredible amount of productivity you can get out of one, smartphones may be a great investment that will pay you back over the years.

If you use your smartphone to answer emails, go online shopping or any of the other tasks that you would normally use your home computer for, then you may be prolonging the life of your other devices by using the smartphone. Additionally, depending on how you use it, a smartphone can take the place of other things that you would otherwise buy, such as a calculator, set of maps, compass, flashlight, stopwatch and other things that can be substituted by an app.

A Filtered Water Bottle

How much money do you spend buying bottled water? Though American tap water is safe to drink, as a culture we’ve begun purchasing bottled drinks, and water, at a fast pace. It’s not cheap. Save money by purchasing a filtered water bottle instead. You’ll get the pure taste of filtered water, save money and reduce the amount of trash you generate in throwing disposable bottles away.

Smart Power Strips

If your home is like most households nowadays you have a variety of gadgets that demand electricity. On any given day you need to plug in kitchen appliances, home cleaning appliances, lights, computers, hand-held devices, entertainment systems, etc. And, if you leave these plugged in when not in use — and who doesn’t? — you’re allowing them to draw electricity even when you’re not at home. A smart power strip, which allows each outlet to be turned on and off separately, will allow you the convenience of having many things plugged in at once while also allowing you to save energy and therefore money.

A Coffee Machine

We already mentioned that Americans spend too much on bottled water each year. But that’s not even close to the amount that we spend on coffee. In 2012, it was reported that Americans spent about $1,000 a year on their morning coffee — fully half what they spent on lunches over a year. However, brewing coffee at home doesn’t cost much at all. If you’re one of the ones who make several trips a day to a cafe for to-go cappuccinos, it makes much better sense moneywise to splurge on an upmarket coffee machine and make your joe at home.

A High-Efficiency Washing Machine and Refrigerator

We discussed turning the electrical appliances in your home off at the outlet to save money. However, most of us never unplug our refrigerators or washing machines, for good reason. These appliances need to be plugged in, and will always draw electricity. If you invest in energy-efficient models of these appliances, you’ll save money on electricity and water usage. Depending on the rates in your area, it should be easy to see a return on these products in a few years’ of use.

A GPS

If you mostly use your car for familiar journeys to the store or the office, you probably already know the best and most efficient way to get from point A to point B. But, if you find yourself checking your position on a road map or on your smartphone’s map app regularly, it might help you save money to buy a GPS. Not only will GPS devices tell you the way to drive so that you spend less time trying to figure it out, but the units usually track the most efficient routes, helping you drive less miles between destinations and saving you money in wear and tear on your car and tires and money for gas.

Time with Experts

Another thing that is worth spending money on, with the idea of getting more money back later, is time spent seeking expert opinions. Though you can do your taxes by yourself, people usually find they get a better refund if they consult an accountant. Though you might be able to lose weight on your own, a physical trainer gets you on the right track faster. Learning new subjects, and motivating yourself to be a better, more successful person is always worth the money and will often pay you back before you expect.

About the Author: Maria Johnson is a counselor and financial planner who assists disadvantaged households considering bankruptcy.