how to manage your finances when you're retired

Being retired means you’re no longer earning a regular wage, which means you have to learn to spend your money differently. Take a look at these practical tips for managing your finances in retirement.

Being retired means you have a lot more time on your hands. It also means you have less money to spend because you’re no longer getting a regular wage. In most circumstances, it’s not uncommon for retirees to have to rethink their spending habits. 

While you may no longer be earning, it doesn’t mean you still can’t afford to do things and enjoy your retirement. It’s just that you need to spend your money differently.   

Take a look at these easy-to-follow practical tips. They’re designed to help you master managing your retirement finances. 

how to make the most of your money 

plan your budget 

Retiring often leads to living on a lower income, which can result in your finances becoming stretched. Budgeting will help you to monitor your incomings and outgoings. Use the Money Advice Service’s  budget planner, or our simple template 

set financial goals 

Once you’ve worked out your budget, then you can start to look at anything else you want to do (e.g. holidays and home improvements). Regularly completing a  health check of your finances will help you stay on track with them. 

put your savings in the best account  

There are a number of different bank accounts out there, which can make choosing one difficult. Whether you’re looking for a tax-free ISA or a high interest savings account, have a look at the  comparison tables and use this  savings calculator to see how you can grow your savings. 

make the most of your investments 

If you rely on investments for your income, then be aware that the level of income may fluctuate, depending on how the investments are performing. Before investing, make sure you fully understand the risks. 

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Visit  MoneyHelper  for information on investments and the  Financial Services Authority on how to protect yourself from scams

trace old savings, investments and pensions 

You may have bank accounts that you’ve forgotten about. This is easily done if you’ve moved home and forgotten to inform all of the various organisations of your new address. There are a number of services, such as  Experian,  My Lost Account  and  Gov.uk  that can help you track down lost accounts or pensions. 

Are you planning on working during your retirement? 

If you’re thinking about staying on at (or returning to) work after you retire, you will need to find out how you’ll be taxed and how it may affect your other sources of income. Visit  Gov.uk  for more information. 

accessing benefits and financial support 

explore your benefit and allowance entitlement 

Explore the benefits and allowances you may be entitled to receive to boost your income. For more details, check out our guide.  

apply for heating and insulation improvements 

If you need help paying your energy bills or making your home more energy efficient, then you may be eligible for an energy grant. Use this  energy grants calculator to find out which grants you can apply for. 

take advantage of subsidised or free travel 

If you’re over the age of 60, you can get discounts on coach and train travel, as well as a free bus pass in some areas. To find out more and to apply for your older person's bus pass, visit  Gov.uk

tackling tax 

pay the right level of tax  

You usually only have to pay tax on your income (including your private pension and state pension) if your income is greater than your tax-free allowance. To find out more about tax after state pension age, visit  Gov.uk

investigate Inheritance Tax 

When you pass away, there’s usually no Inheritance Tax to pay if the value of your estate is under the £325,000 threshold. However, if the value of your estate is over this threshold, the person dealing with your estate may have to pay Inheritance Tax on the value of your estate over £325,000. Read our guide or visit  Gov.uk for more information. 

planning ahead  

make a Will 

If you haven’t drawn up a Will yet, it’s important you do it sooner rather than later. Take a look at our legal advice for guidance. If you already have one, now’s the time to make sure it’s up-to-date. 

plan for your death 

While it may be the last thing you want to do, try to start thinking about what you would like to happen if you were diagnosed with a terminal illness; how you would like to spend your final years and what you would like to happen after your death.  Dying Matters  has been created to help people prepare themselves for death, so they can enjoy the rest of their life, knowing they have planned for it. 

set up a funeral plan 

People often worry they won’t leave enough money for their funeral when they die. You can set up a funeral plan to arrange and pay for your funeral before you die - see  Gov.uk for more information. 

set up a Power of Attorney 

There may come a time when you’re less able to manage your finances, property or personal welfare and you need somebody to do it for you (who is called your ‘attorney’). This can be a friend, relative or professional. For more information, read our  ‘Guide to power of attorney.’ 

dealing with a deceased partner’s finances 

accessing benefits, property and money 

When somebody dies, the executor or administrator typically sorts out their finances and shares what is left according to the deceased’s Will or the law (if there is no Will). In some cases, an executor or administrator may not be needed. 

If the deceased has left money in joint accounts, it normally means the surviving joint owner automatically owns the money. The money doesn’t form part of the deceased person’s estate and therefore doesn’t need to be dealt with by the executor or administrator. 

If the deceased has more than £5,000 in accounts held only in their name, the executor or administrator may need to apply to the Probate Registry for a grant of representation to gain access to the money. For more information, visit  Gov.uk

how we can help 

If you’re struggling with bills or budgeting, we’re here to give you a helping hand. Whatever your financial worries, big or small, you’re not alone.  

We’ll listen and offer advice and guidance in a safe and supportive environment.  Our specialist advisors are on hand to provide you with impartial and confidential advice. 

And if we aren’t able to help you ourselves, we’ll point you in the right direction to one of our partner organisations who can. Either way, we simply want you to access the best options quickly and easily so you can carry on. Talk to us today.   

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your questions answered 

Who is eligible for support?

We support past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW)1, ACA students2, ICAEW staff members3, and the family and carers of members and students4

  1. No matter where your career takes you, past and present members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW) are eligible for caba’s services for life, even if you change your career and leave accountancy 
  2. ACA students (ICAEW Provisional Members) who are either an active student or have been an active student within the last three years are eligible for caba's services 
  3. Past and present staff members of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's services for life, even if you leave either organisation. Please note, for former employees, our financial support is only available to those who have had five years continuous employment with either organisation 
  4. Family members and carers of either an eligible past or present ICAEW member, ACA student or past or present employee of the ICAEW or caba are eligible for caba's support. We define a family member as a: 
    1. spouse, civil partner or cohabiting partner 
    2. widow, widower or surviving civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    3. divorced spouse or civil partner who has not remarried or cohabiting with a partner 
    4. child aged up to 25. Please note, children aged between 16 and 25 are not eligible for individual financial support 
    5. any other person who is or was dependent on the eligible individual supporting them financially or are reliant on the eligible individual’s care 
    6. any other person on whom the eligible individual is reliant, either financially or for care 

You can find out more about our available support both in the UK and around the world on our support we offer  page. 

Are your services means tested?

If you need financial support, we carry out a means test where we consider income, expenditure, capital and assets.  

*Please note none of our other services are means tested. 

I’m an accountant, but not a member of ICAEW, can you still help?

Unfortunately not. We only support past and present ICAEW members, their carers and their families. If we are unable to support you, where possible we will point you to help elsewhere.

caba has supported me in the past; can I receive support from caba again?

We understand that circumstances change. If we’ve helped you in the past there’s no reason why we can’t help you again. You can contact us at any time. Please call us if you need our help.

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