It seems like every month, there’s a negative news story affecting the wealth of everyone in the UK – especially those approaching, or at, retirement age. Luckily, there’s a whole host of things that are cheaper, if not free, if you’re over 55 – not least your travel options. So, what can you expect for putting in a bit of time on Earth? Here are some of our top picks if you’re looking to make the most of your money and you qualify for the benefits…
A free bus pass
Okay, we appreciate that it’s an obvious place to start, but it’s well worth getting. While there’s no set age, you just need to be eligible for the State Pension for free travel on local buses in England and Wales. The State Pension Age calculator is what you need to double check; if you’re in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you just have to hit 60 to qualify.
London Freedom pass
Living in the capital? Well, you’re in for an even bigger treat. The London Freedom Pass offers free or discounted travel on London transport, whether it’s the Underground, national rail services, or buses. You just have to be at the (soon to be gender-standardised) women’s State Pension age (66 or older). Still, if you’re over 60 but not eligible for the Freedom Pass, you can get an Oyster card for the over-60s that provides free travel in London. Bargain!
A third off buses and trains (for a small fee)
If you’re planning more long-haul travel, then you can count on trains and buses giving you further discounts on travel. They may not be absolutely free, but given the price of even shorter-distance journeys in the UK, it could still amount to plenty in the way of savings.
The most expensive one of the two is the Senior Railcard. Available to anyone aged 60 or over, it’s just £30 a year and gives you a third off train tickets that fall under standard, off-peak, advance, or first-class anytime parameters. You can apply at railway stations or online, and all you need is a passport of a birth certificate to prove your age.
Meanwhile, National Express – while not a nationalised or standardised service – gives those 60 or over a similar deal through the Senior Coachcard, but it costs just £10 per year. Not bad, if you don’t mind being on a coach instead of a faster, arguably more comfortable train!