Posted 7th June 2022
The cost-of-living crisis is impacting us all. UK inflation hit a 40-year high of 9% this month which comes after the energy price cap went up in April adding an unprecedented £700 a year price increase to millions of people’s bills, along with higher fuel and food prices because of the war in Ukraine.
For retired people, the impact of these rising costs is significant as most are on a fixed income and have little opportunity to change their financial situation.
One silver lining has been the Chancellor’s new cost-of-living solutions announced in May which will see £300 extra given to pensioners in the UK via their winter fuel payments.
But there are also other things people can do to cope with the cost-of-living crisis, here are some recommendations that might be useful.
If you are worried about your energy bills, speak to your energy provider in the first instance. Some reports have shown that monthly direct debit bills have increased beyond the 54% price cap tariff increase – if this has happened to you, ask them why.
Keep monthly records of your electricity and gas usage to give your provider accurate readings, rather than just relying on estimates. If you have not had a smart meter installed this could be a useful way to keep track of what you are using.
According to Smart Energy GB 86% of people with a smart meter have said that they have changed how they do things around the house to use less energy, which could save them money. Providers will install these for free, so ask if you do not currently have one and would like one fitted. Find out everything there is to know about Smart Meters and the benefits here.
Social tariffs were introduced a few years ago to help households in fuel poverty, which is when 10% or more of income is eaten up by energy bills. Those tariffs have now been replaced by the Warm Home Discount which takes £140 off your electricity bill each year. To qualify you must receive a guaranteed pension credit, or be on a low income and meet the criteria of the energy company. Those on a key meter can also get it if they meet these criteria. To find out more visit the Government warm home discount scheme here.
For those claiming benefits it is also worth checking if there is anything else you are eligible for. You can do this by visiting the web site ‘Entitled To’ by clicking here.
The Government has announced several ways it will help people including providing a £200 loan to all domestic electricity customers payable over five years at £40 per year in their energy bills. For more information on what help is available click here.
One of the benefits of renting in a retirement development is savings on energy bills. Many of our residents downsized from a larger home and now they only have to heat a small apartment. Being part of block means these apartments can be warmer than a house too, so often the heating does not need be on for as long. In winter this can offer a big saving.
Downsizing and renting can also be beneficial as it frees up capital in a home, so this money could be invested or help people fund their retirement.
People can make savings on maintaining a property too. At a time when prices are going up, having unexpected bills for things such as a new boiler or new roof, can have a major impact on someone’s budget.
With renting, all the services, maintenance, and upkeep of the property and gardens are included in the monthly rent, making it easier to budget each month.
If renting isn’t something you have considered, because it seemed like an unsecure housing option where you could be asked to move out at any time; then read about the benefits including assured tenancies here. Most of our retirement properties come with an assured or lifetime tenancy, which means people can remain in the property for as long as they choose, providing they stick to the terms of their tenancy.
If this appeals, talk to our friendly team to find out more about moving to a retirement community. Call on 01823 793420 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org