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Is it possible to boost my income in retirement?

No one likes to find themselves short of cash. However, in retirement, this can be particularly troubling.

Concern over whether individuals have enough money to retire on is common. However, the coronavirus pandemic has accentuated with issue – My Pension Expert’s research found that nearly one in ten (9%) of adults aged 40 to 67 have been forced to take early retirement as a result of COVID-19, suggesting that respondents may not have been able to save as much as they initially had planned for their retirement.

As such, some may experience shortfalls in cash and be faced with the prospect of scaling down on the quality of their retirement, in order to ease the financial strain.

Luckily, there are some simple ways in which retirees can boost their income throughout retirement….

Check what you’re owed

First and foremost, it’s important for retirees to check whether they are eligible for certain benefits.  Surprisingly, £3.5 billion worth of benefits go unclaimed by older adults each year – so it’s certainly worth whilst to check eligibility.

Pension benefit, for example, can help those over state retirement age, who are struggling to make ends meet. This benefit allows pensioners to claim top ups on their weekly income in the form of guarantee credit, as well and savings credit, in the case that a retiree has extra savings or higher income than the basic state pension. While it should be noted that savings credit is only available to those who reached state pension age before 6th April 2016, single retirees could claim up to £187.72 per week, whilst couples can claim up to £280.82 if they are eligible.

Other possible benefits include housing benefit or attendance allowance, and they can all add up and could help those struggling to make ends meet.

Going back to work

Another potential option for retirees is returning to work. Indeed, a quarter of Britons are “unretiring” in a bid to boost their income.

However, this needn’t mean returning to the standard 9-to-5 routine – today, there are plenty of flexible working options to help retirees bring in a bit more income. For example, returning to work part-time, or pursuing freelance work could offer a great opportunity for retirees to increase their income, without the stress of returning to the office.

This may do more than support finances. Studies have shown that individuals who have “unretired” experience improvements in their mental and physical health, so it is certainly a point worth considering!

Equity release

That said, some retirees may not want to return to work, and may not be eligible for state benefits. In which case, equity release may be worthy of consideration.

Anyone over the age of 55 is eligible for equity release, provided that they own their own home. This enables individuals to unlock the money tied up in their property and give their retirement income an immediate cash injection.

Equity release comes in different forms, such as lifetime mortgages or home reversion plans, so it would be wise for pensioners to thoroughly explore their options, before committing to this form of retirement income.

That said, equity release has its drawbacks, and it will not be the right option for everyone. So, it is vital to seek independent financial advice before making a final decision. Luckily, advisers at My Equity Release Expert are always on hand to guide retirees through the various options available.

It can be a worrying to suddenly experience a shortfall in cash, particularly during one’s retirement years. However, it is vitally important for individuals not to panic, explore the possibilities open to them, and seek advice when necessary. Doing so will enable retirees to give their income a healthy and enjoy the financially comfortable retirement they deserve.