The upside to getting older is becoming eligible for government benefits that could help lower the cost of living

So it’s the big one. Sixty years old. It’s hard to believe…

In a youth-obsessed culture it seems we’re constantly being reminded about the downside of getting older. And it’s true there are some aspects of ageing that are less than optimal.

The body can get a bit creakier. The eyesight can seem a bit blurrier. And the memory can become a bit hazier.

But there are some benefits ahead in your seventh decade that could put a spring in your step as a lot of the day-to-day stresses of life start to fade away.

The mortgage is likely to be lower or paid off, the kids are ready to fly the coop and career worries are hopefully a thing of the past. After a lifetime of hard work it’s time to start enjoying the fruits of your labour.

And as well as enjoying your new-found freedom,

you could find yourself saving heaps on bills and services as you become eligible for age-based discounts that lower the cost of living.

Here are some potential perks of getting a bit longer in the tooth.  

 

Seniors Card

Every Australian state and territory operates a Seniors Card scheme offering discounts on transport and other services from participating businesses. The idea is to make it easier for older people to get out and about and engage with the community. To get the card, you must usually be at least 60 and not working full time. Remember to ask local businesses if they offer a discount for seniors and keep an eye out for the Seniors Card sign in shops. Find out if you’re eligible for your state’s Seniors Card.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

The Commonwealth Seniors Health Card is a Federal Government scheme providing access to cheaper health care and discounts. It includes cheaper prescription medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, bulk-billed doctor visits and higher Medicare refunds on out-of-hospital costs once you reach the Medicare Safety Net. You can get the card if you:

  • have reached age pension age
  • don’t qualify for a payment from the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • meet an income test, and
  • are an Australian resident currently living in Australia.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.

Pensioner Concession Card

If you receive the age pension, you’re likely to be eligible for the Pensioner Concession Card, which provides cheaper health care, medicines and other discounts.

Other allowances

Other government payments may also be available, including:
  • Rent assistance—helps to cover your private rental costs if you receive a payment from the government.
  • Energy supplement—helps to manage household costs if you receive an eligible government support payment such as the age pension.
  • Carer allowance—helps if you provide care to an elderly person or someone with a disability or medical condition.

Here’s the Federal Government’s comprehensive guide to payments for older Australians.

Don’t forget your pension arrangements

While you’re checking out your eligibility for age-related benefits, it’s worth giving some thought to your retirement income options.

For example, once you turn 60 any lump sum or income from your super, if you’re able to access it, becomes tax free.

How to structure your finances in retirement can be a minefield, particularly if you haven’t given a great deal of thought to your post-retirement income before. So if you’re not sure about transition to retirement, annuity or allocated pension—and how they relate to the age pension—find out more about which type of retirement pension works best for you with our quick guide.

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Important information

This information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd (ABN 15 139 353 496), is general in nature only and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. Before deciding what’s right for you, it’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant product disclosure statement or terms and conditions available from AMP at amp.com.au or by calling 131 267.

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