Get professional debt advice
Research conducted by the Prudential recently showed that one in five people hoping to retire in the UK this year will do so with more than £30,000 worth of debt. Wales was at the top of the list in terms of numbers, with 26% of people retiring with significant outstanding debts.
Unfortunately the average retirement income from an annuity is at a 6-year low and as a result thousands of retirees will find themselves with much less to live on each year than they need to pay their household bills, living expenses and debt payments.
If this sounds like your situation then you should seek professional debt advice as soon as you can. A qualified financial advisor can help you to make the most of any pensions and investments you have while also showing you where you can save money in everyday life. In addition though, debt advice, Wales in particular, is vital if your entire retirement income is insufficient to cover your outgoings including your debt payments, and if things are very bad a debt advisor can explain the debt options available to you.
Claim the benefits you’re entitled to
A lot of people reaching retirement age are entitled to benefits they know nothing about, and again a debt or financial advisor can provide vital information. Among other benefits you may be entitled to you can include:
Rent or council tax benefits
Winter fuel payments
There is no shame in claiming benefits during your retirement years and if the extra income helps to pay your debt commitments then so much the better. Again, professional debt advice will provide more information on the benefits available and whether you are eligible to make a claim.
Claim your freebies
Most people of retirement age are eligible for things like a free bus pass, free health care and in later years a free TV license. These things are all worth claiming because the money you save in terms of prescription costs, dental fees, optician fees and bus fares can be used for other things, including paying off your debts. Again there is absolutely no shame in claiming what you are entitled to and over the course of a year you can save several hundred pounds in healthcare costs alone.