Gransnet forums

Legal & money

Change of circumstances

(28 Posts)
petra Mon 12-Nov-12 15:18:53

The heading says it all. This happened to me today. I didn't have to go through the finances to work out what I have. I will have my basic pension.
Working things out I realise I will have to choose between: The Car, The Internet/TV package. Which would you choose?

Marelli Mon 12-Nov-12 15:28:09

The car, Petra, if you can realistically manage without it. We got rid of ours over a year ago and have honestly never missed it. We are on a good bus route and go all over the place with our bus passes for free. I wouldn't like to be without my internet/TV package - in total that costs me around £40 a month and that includes my house phone.

ayse Mon 12-Nov-12 15:29:00

That may depend on where you live. Here there is a very good bus service and although I'm not retired, I do without a car. Hopefully you will have a bus pass soon. For me,that would make a huge difference. I don't have an internet/TV package but have a freeview box instead. This has quite enough TV for me etc unless you are into sport. I have Talktalk as an internet provider. I think if I had to choose between TV/internet it would be the internet that would win out.
Can you claim pension credits? If so, that would help with dental and eye expenses etc. Also the winter fuel allowance, council tax relief etc.
Wish you all the best in your retirement

kittylester Mon 12-Nov-12 15:36:04

I was just going to say that, if you check, you can probably get pension credit and while the amount you get may not be huge, it opens the door to lots of other things. AgeUk may be a good place to start enquiring.

In answer to the question it would be my TV, no hang on a mo, my car, er maybe the TV. What an awful choice petra both of those matter such a lot as we get older. sad

crimson Mon 12-Nov-12 15:36:23

I bet there are lots of things you're entitled to; would Age Concern or CAB help? I'll get my pension next year along with a very small works pension and I'm wondering about whether to retire [= not much money for holidays etc] or carry on working [= no time for holidays and too tired to do much else after work]. So I'm starting to look into as many possibilities as I can. As ever heating is the big worry.

Jendurham Mon 12-Nov-12 15:46:18

I agree with Kittylester that you should get in touch with Ageuk to see if they can help you. The only reason I am on here is because of the links with Ageuk.
We had a very nice retired lawyer come to help us fill in forms before my husband died. He was very helpful and we did get extra money, but only for 6 months.
I have filled in their online forms with my details and found I am not entitled to any more, but a t least I do not have to give up the car yet.
I do not have a tv package, just phone and internet. I had to pay an extra five pounds a month as my grandson keeps going over my limit on the internet.
Anyway, if you gave up the internet, how would you get such advice in the future?
Crimson, Age Concern does not exist any more. It's Ageuk now, along with another charity that I cannot remember. Must be getting old.

petra Mon 12-Nov-12 15:49:44

I do have my bus pass but I do help a lot with the DGC. I think it's coming down to the car going. I think it would be cheaper to get a taxi on the few times when I'm needed in an emergency.

petra Mon 12-Nov-12 15:53:35

Another thought on the car/ Internet thing. I have been spoilt for years living with someone who could fix it if it went wrong. I hate the thought of going to a garage and getting ripped off because I'm "older" and femail.

crimson Mon 12-Nov-12 16:00:28

That causes me a lot of grief, petra. My ex husband was an engineer who could fix anything [I never appreciated it at the time, especially as I never had anything new as he kept things going forever] so I get very frustrated having to pay people to do work for me. AgeUk do have a 'trusted traders' list that would, hopefully, have mechanics/local garages that you could trust. I bought a new car several years ago when Toyota had a % finance deal, and the garage I bought the car from are very trustworthy.

Sel Mon 12-Nov-12 16:00:30

Also petra, when it comes to the car you don't know what's going to need replacing and you could be hit with an unexpectedly high bill. At least the tv/internet is a fixed expense and a great deal smaller one than the monthly cost of a car. Good luck whatever, not a happy decision for you.

tanith Mon 12-Nov-12 16:04:34

I wouldn't want to get rid of my car or the internet, I think I'd try and find a cheaper internet/phone package, if not then it would have to be the internet I guess. I could not manage all the things I have to do without the car.

london Mon 12-Nov-12 18:34:28

i would keep my car and find cheaper internet if thats possible x

glammanana Mon 12-Nov-12 18:44:10

There are some really good internet only deals out there at the moment they are all fighting for business don't be afraid to tell the providers that you have been offered good deals with other providers and push for the best deals,I am due to renew my contract on the 17th with BT and have a figure in mind that I want to pay.

petra Mon 12-Nov-12 18:50:19

Thanks for that, Glammanana. I'm looking as we "speak"
I'm not fussed about all the channels on TV as long as I have BBC 1 and channel 4. I know that I will miss the TiVo box though.
Maybe I can get Virgin to feel sorry for me. LOL

glassortwo Tue 13-Nov-12 07:56:33

petra there are some very cheap internet deals, google money expert and do a search for your area, I have just set up an internet only (as they have a BT landline deal ) for a relative for less than £7 a month with Netplus who are part of BT. If you gave up your internet/Tv package its closing down all your entertainment you would not be able to chat to us. Do you depend on your car or are you in an area with good public transport?

Fondasharing Tue 13-Nov-12 11:37:22

Petra, I read your thread earlier this morning and waited to reply after giving it considerable thought whilst making the bed, tidying up etc.etc. wondering what I would do under the same circumstances.

I also have several friends, although quite young, have also given up their cars and do not regret it at all.

The computer and internet win hands down for me. Some great internet deals are out there. I can watch TV and film and listen to the radio though the computer, order my shopping, skype for free with the grandchildren, make very cheap phone calls abroad with skype, research everything I want to discover every day and communicate with friends. I also have all my photo collection stored there and e.books etc.etc.

The car does not compete, unless you do live in a very remote area.....then I would "run the car into the ground" if you can still afford the car insurance, tax and petrol for the time being. In the meantime, as other Gransnet contributors suggest....look into every possible means of increasing your pension through benefits and tax etc.etc.

If you do live in a remote area, could you seek a reciprocal arrangement with neighbours...think I read about this somewhere in the UK where retired neighbours help each other with the shopping trips, hospital visits etc.etc. Then you could use a bartering system and do something for a neighbour that they would otherwise not be able to do (e.g. gardening, cooking,?? etc.etc.) I give my neighbour a weekly massage (I am a qualified masseur!!!) in return for favours she does for me.

Also, if you want to go somewhere for a few days and can afford the fee, you can get some very cheap car hire in some areas. When I looked after my Mum following a hip operation (she lives 2 hours away from me)....my husband needed his car back home, so I stayed with Mum and hired a car for a week in her area (SE England) so that I could take her for hospital visits etc.etc. It cost me £110 for seven days.....and the petrol was minimal as it did 70 miles to the gallon.

So good luck with your thoughts. Hope the above helps a little.

Anne58 Tue 13-Nov-12 11:46:14

Some good tips there, Fonda

We don't have any extra TV channels, just the ones that are available to all via Freeview.

I couldn't manage without a car, as the public transport from the village is very limited, and I'm still hoping to get another job following redundancy in March. (I need a job, as we have a considerable mortgage)

However I've just switched my phone provider and got a really good deal. I sort of played one off against the other, and now have a much more manageable monthly payment. Plus I already had broadband with the provider I am switching my phone to, and know that they provide a very good service, with really helpful staff!

kittylester Tue 13-Nov-12 12:54:16

We just got rid of some of our Sky packages and they offered us really good deals keep them so that might be worth a try with Virgin. AgeUk is an amalgam of Age Concern and Help the Aged. My husband used to help people fill in the forms to claim extra benefits so I would try them before CAB as the CAB round here are really struggling and AgeUk only deal with we oldies!

Anne58 Tue 13-Nov-12 13:28:08

glass , do you mean Plusnet? I have been with them for broadband for yonks, and am in the process of switching my phone to them (away from BT)

I am paying 12 months line rental in advance, then my broadband and phone (with anytime calls) will be a total of just over £10 a month!

glammanana Wed 14-Nov-12 10:51:24

phoenix I have been looking at Plusnets pricing and they must be the best around I am due to renew my contract with BT this coming Monday and would love to switch to PN but my TV package is through BT and it can't be tied in with PN unfortunatly even though PN is part of BT,they have got you always sometimes, I must admit I do use the TV package alot on catch up and on watching films and good documentaries.Never mind worth a try but I will still try and use the info I have on PN to try and discount my new package as some of their extra's are cheaper than BT.

Anne58 Wed 14-Nov-12 11:00:36

glamma we have found Plusnet to be excellent, it is also a real help that their call centre is UK based.

Have you looked to see if you might be able do a split package?

glassortwo Wed 14-Nov-12 11:07:32

Ha ha yes phoenix it is was having a moment grin their prices knocked spots off the rest and the call center were very helpful.

Anne58 Wed 14-Nov-12 11:21:06

They also do a reward scheme if you refer people to them! grin

glammanana Wed 14-Nov-12 11:31:00

Phoenix I will ask the question re a split package when I ring them on Monday thanks for that.Even their anytime calls and net protection was cheaper than what I pay now so even if I get reduced I would be happy.

Nanadog Wed 14-Nov-12 12:27:46

I've found Plusnet excellent too. Their customer services is second to none.