Having to make sacrifices

I worked for the same rail company for 50 years from June 1966 to 2016.

I planned for my retirement and I didn’t go out for years.

I sacrificed holidays, going to restaurants and theatre trips so I was able to buy and pay for the house I live in now. I worked weekends, bank holidays and Christmas, allowing me to live a comfortable retirement.

When I retired I was given the option to take a lump sum from my employment pension pot. I took just enough to be able to open up an ISA so that I could use the interest to boost my income.


My pension covers my household bills and leaves me with just enough to pay for food and other day to day costs. I try to manage my money well, the bus allows me to reach shops and different markets so I can pick up bargains, such as buying bulk boxes of potatoes and onions (or asparagus when in season so I can make soup).

However, with the rise in community taxes and other bills my pension income keeps dropping as it is eaten by this increase.

Also my pension income doesn’t allow for breakdowns. Last month my tumble dryer, computer screen and lawn mower all broke down, costing me £400 extra. I repaired the tumble dryer myself as it was too expensive to get someone to fix it. I managed to do it for half the price but I still had to pay for the parts. I also bought a second hand computer screen to help me save a bit of money.

Trying to catch up

I use a bank account which helps me manage money and they pay my bills on my behalf. They give me £50 a week to live on, but you can take more out when you need to which is what I did last month. So for the rest of the year I am going to have to save so I can catch up. It means I am not able to do what I want, as I don’t have the money to do it with.

If I have to I can always dip into my ISA but then it means I lose my interest which I need.

Also I am keeping that money aside for my funeral costs, I don’t want that cost to fall upon my loved ones.

I know I can catch up, as long as nothing else happens…

Kenneth contacted us through Silver Voices, a membership organisation for senior citizens.


Have you been affected by any of these issues?


This blog represents one individual’s experience; personal circumstances differ – if you have been affected by any the issues in this blog and want some advice about your own situation please contact Independent Age’s Helpline on 0800 319 6789.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Independent Age