Top tips for saving money after retirement

Type ‘should I save money after retirement’ into your search engine and one of the answers that comes up is ‘No! You save money in order to retire comfortably. Once you retire your saving days are done. It’s time to use the money.’ Now, whilst this may have been a reasonable answer a generation or two ago, in the days of rising costs and longevity, it no longer applies.

Written by

Sheila Frampton

Why Save Money After Retirement?

  • Your needs might evolve. You might have enough income to pay your living expenses with something left over to pay for your entertainment and leisure, to treat your children or your grandchildren but what happens when circumstances change – and your outgoings increase substantially?   There could be any number of reasons for this – if you’re living in an older property, there may be unexpected expenses.  If your health, or that of your partner or spouse, declines, there may be healthcare costs. 
  • You may need to make your money last. In 1960, there was very little difference between life expectancy and the age at which a person left the workforce.  Now men can expect to live for around 15 years and women around 20 years after leaving the workforce.  This means that, on average, people in the UK are spending longer in retirement.
  • You may need more flexibility in retirement – you may decide to buy a second home in this country or abroad, somewhere you can go to relax.
  • You want to help the family.  It may be that your children or your grandchildren need some financial help – university, the cost of a wedding, buying a first home or you may simply want to build up a nest egg to make sure they have something to inherit in the future.
  • Rising costs of living. Whilst you may have planned for your retirement and estimated the costs of living comfortably, the energy crisis, the unpredictable rises in fuel costs and inflation generally can all take a toll on your savings or income.
  • Being frugal may simply come naturally. After working hard for years, perhaps raising a family, not wanting to waste money may be something that comes naturally.
A lady looking through the clothes in her wardrobe.
An older couple sat in their sunroom with the back doors open.

Our top 5 tips for saving in retirement

Downsize your home

If you live in an older family home, your maintenance costs and your running costs will likely be high.  Heating bills, the cost of cleaning in both time and money, gardening, window cleaning insurance and other expenses, such as council tax, are likely to be far more expensive than they would be in a new home that’s both energy efficient and easy to maintain.  With an older property, you’re more likely to have unexpected expenses such as repairs to the boiler, the guttering, the plumbing system.  With an elegant new retirement house or apartment, you’ll pay a service charge, but this will cover your insurance, your window cleaning and the maintenance of the communal areas.  On a Beechcroft development, your service charge covers the cost of an on-site Estate Manager who handles the administration of the development, organising gardening of the landscaped settings and private gardens.  Take a look at our other blog post, detailing how tosave up to 60% on your energy bills with a new Beechcroft home.

An older couple sat in their conservatory.
A photo of a Mazda MX5 in the countryside.

Consider giving up one or more of your cars

In 2022, it is estimated that UK car owners spend, on average, over £3,000 to run a car each year.  The biggest expenses are petrol or diesel (£1,435 a year estimated due to rising petrol and diesel prices), motor insurance (£484 a year) and repairs and servicing (£273 a year).  In addition, road tax, parking fees and other upkeep expenses cost an additional £259 a year per vehicle – and sometimes unexpected costs arise if your car has a problem.

Moving to a Beechcroft development will generally put you closer to shops and services – you may be within walking distance of your local shops and many new developments provide a shuttle bus service for trips into town and for residents’ trips further afield.  In England, you’ll get a free bus pass when you reach the state pension age and whilst many of us might not like the idea of a free bus pass, it can bring significant savings and allow you to get out and about without the hassle of parking.

Look for ways to save without cutting back

Whilst you’re still working, you may not have time to think carefully about your finances and whether you could save on your bills – but in retirement with a bit more time on your hands, it’s worth going through your spending and seeing if you could renegotiate some of your costs.  

Reduce your phone bill: one of the biggest cost savings can be on mobile phones.  Renegotiating my own phone bill recently helped me to cut the cost by more than 50%.  ‘The Times’ published an excellent article on this, providing top tips to reduce costs.

 As a summary, the main tips included:

  • Comparing phone contracts – how much data do you really need? Your data allowance can really ramp up your bill and most people buy more than they need.
  • Try to use Wi-Fi – every time you connect to the internet using your provider’s network, you’re using more expensive data – it’s not too much if you’re browsing or checking emails but if you’re using your phone to stream music or videos or play games online (often to entertain younger family members) you’re running up costs.
  • Think about switching mobile provider – you could get a good deal.
  • Access the best mobile deals by buying the phone separately and going for a SIM only deal – or if your family members get a free upgrade iPhone with their contract, ask if they have the older phone going spare.
  • Save money with a SIM only deal – compare the best SIM only contracts on comparison websites. For as little as £10 a month you could get unlimited texts and minutes and 10-15 GB data. 
A lady sat on a bench using her mobile phone.

Check you’re in the correct council tax band: whilst you might not be able to do anything about the expensive monthly council tax band, more than 400,000 properties in the UK are in the wrong band – so take a look at

Insurance: with insurance of all kinds – from car, home to travel, life and pets, never accept the yearly renewal price with the same company.  Often companies give better rates to new customers – and you’ll pay less than you do with your current insurer.  Avoid paying by direct debit for any insurance policy because it means you pay interest on top of the premium.  There are plenty of price comparison sites including which is on a mission to save the nation £1 billion – and to help you reduce your household bills.

A grandmother and grandson cooking together.

Save money on food costs

When we reach retirement, many of us change our shopping habits – particularly if we are widowed and no longer cooking for two.  I know that I waste a lot of money going to the shops every day and buying the food for my evening meal.  Although this cuts down on any food wasted, it’s a much more expensive way of living.  Doing a weekly shop and planning the meals helps encourage you to only buy what you need and saves the trips to the shops and buying expensive items just for the day.   Batch cooking and using the freezer efficiently can result in significant savings.   Consider changing the supermarket you use – we all love quality supermarkets – and we know which ones top the list without mentioning the brand names here.   Research by trade magazine ‘The Grocer’ revealed that you can save a massive 55% on your food bill by changing your supermarket. Don’t forget to use supermarket loyalty cards – schemes such as Tesco’s Clubcard can mean savings as you shop and Sainsbury’s Nectar gives points that you can convert to money off your shopping.

Reduce your utility bills

We’ve already mentioned that moving to a new Beechcroft home can save you up to 60% on your energy bills, but there are other ways to reduce how much you spend on your gas, electricity and water. In terms of water, taking showers rather than baths costs less and is better for the environment.  Typically a shower uses 50% less water than a bath.  Check whether you would save money on your electricity or gas bills by paying by direct debit and do ensure that your provider doesn’t owe you money by giving them a regular meter reading and checking the costs against your usage.

Find out about saving money with Beechcroft
A husband and wife together in their kitchen.

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