A Guide to the Benefits of Being an OAP

This is a guest post geared towards my audience in the UK. 

While your body may not exactly be in the peak condition you may have once had, life as an old-age pensioner (OAP) is certainly not without its benefits. By understanding the kind of discounts and freebies that are open to you, you too can save money and lead a happier, healthier life in your later years.

For example, one major benefit of being 60 or over is that you will be able to benefit from home buildings insurance comparison. Many companies will set up special discounts for the age group, because they recognise that older people will make fewer and smaller claims and are more likely to live in low-crime areas. The best way for over-60s to discover the best deal for them is to use a specialist insurer like Castle Cover, or at least consult price comparison websites to get a broad understanding of the market.

In terms of health and education, prescriptions are free and eye tests are also carried out for nothing. OAPs can also apply for benefits such as reduced-price classes, or even free courses to help them improve certain things seen as enablers or key skills – this includes computer programmes.

Other more established benefits that save plenty of money for people up and down the UK over 60 includes the ever-popular free bus pass, if you live in England. So long as you were born before April 5th 1950, you now get free off-peak travel anywhere in England – between 9:30am and 11:00pm from Monday to Friday, and all day at weekends. If you were born after this date, you can still check if you are eligible with your local council.

People over the age of 60 can also get discounts for train travel, applying for a senior railcard. The annual cost of £28 – or £65 for three years – gives people one-third off all standard and first class rail tickets, meaning going further around the country can cost a lot less. In fact, just one train journey could provide you with enough in terms of savings to cover this provision and much more.

In terms of extended government benefits, charity Age UK claims that over £5 billion of means-tested benefits go unclaimed every year by the over-60s demographic. A quick summary of the financial benefits you may be entitled to includes the state pension, council tax and housing benefit, community care grants and winter fuel payments. Don’t leave yourself out in the cold in more ways than one – be sure you know what you’re entitled to!

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