leisure

How to save money in retirement

18 December 2015 A Senior Railcard costs 30 and entitles you to a 33% discount on rail fares for one year Retirement not only brings the reward of time – there are tangible financial benefits too. You can pocket extra cash across a variety of activities and everyday expenses, even if you’ve yet to retire. During July and August in 2015, we asked 1,314 members about the savings they d made since retirement or reaching the age of 60. Some will be waiting for you, but others might need to be sought out. Throughout the year, we survey thousands of Which? members to see how they save money on everyday bills, services and purchases. You can see the full range of our members’ money-saving tips by trialling Which? for 1 1 . Defer your state pension Many members told us about their decision to defer their state pension 2 . Doing this for just five weeks can increase your earnings by 1%. For each year you choose to do this, your state pension could grow by 10.4%. Some of the members we questioned had topped theirs up by as much as 4,000. Find out more: what’s happening to the state pension in 2016? 3 – get clued up on next year’s changes Apply for travel discounts A bus pass is one of the first freebies that might come to mind, but you’ll have to apply for it yourself. It’s not automatically issued in the way other statutory benefits are (such as a free TV licence at age 75). Other discounts can be found by purchasing a Senior Railcard or Coachcard, especially if you travel frequently by either means. Many members made significant savings with the Senior Railcard. It costs 30 for one year, but the discounts should quickly override that cost. For one member, the card paid for itself in a single journey when he saved 100 on First Class tickets to Edinburgh. If you live in London, you can travel on bus, tube and tram services for free with a Freedom Pass, once you reach the qualifying age (which is 66 for those born on or after 6 October 1954). If you were born before that, you can travel for free on London’s public transport using a 60+ Oyster photo card, provided you re a resident. Find out more: best and worst train companies 4 – see our reviews Shop to your advantage You may already have a Boots Advantage Card, but once you reach 60 you can receive even more points on purchases. You’ll get up to ten points for each pound you spend on Boots own products, as well as 25% off glasses and opticians and 15% off hearing aids. One member saved 200 over the past year, by using their points on several large purchases. Specsavers offers a 25% discount on prescription glasses to over-60s, but it may also be worth enquiring about a discount in other opticians too. Also, you can save money on the cost of DIY, decoration or homeware by joining the B&Q over-60s Diamond Club. Members of this club can save 10% on most purchases when shopping in B&Q on a Wednesday. Find out more: top of the shops survey 5 – see which shops took top spot Save on sports and entertainment Wherever you go for leisure, it’s always worth enquiring about a senior discount. Just make sure you have ID, especially if you don t look your age. Whether you prefer the cinema, theatre, a football match or even a pub lunch, many venues offer a discount for those over 60 or 65. Some places may even have dedicated clubs for older people, as one member found when they joined the Silver Screen club at their local Picture House cinema. Many professional football clubs offer discounts for older fans. One member told us he saves 156 each year on tickets to watch Southend United play. Find out more: 50 ways to save money 6 – our all-inclusive money-saving guide More on this… References ^ trialling Which? for 1 (try.which.co.uk) ^ defer their state pension (www.which.co.uk) ^ what’s happening to the state pension in 2016? (www.which.co.uk) ^ best and worst train companies (www.which.co.uk) ^ top of the shops survey (www.which.co.uk) ^ 50 ways to save money (www.which.co.uk)

North Korea’s Newest Fad: "Boy General" Mobile Phone Game

Millions of North Koreans are now using mobile phones, and not just to make phone calls. The Associated Press recently got a sneak peek at “Boy General,” the North’s hottest new game release, a spinoff of a new TV animation series that is both beautifully produced and genuinely fun to watch suggesting Pyongyang is trying to win back an audience drawn to the banned Chinese and South Korean dramas that flow across its borders. The app became an immediate hit after its September release, particularly in Pyongyang, where there are more mobile phones and a population that generally has more money and time to spend on leisure activities. The even more popular televised animation series returned to the airwaves in August and runs on Sunday evenings. In the game, players are prompted to go on missions to defeat the enemies of the young general Swoeme, which means “Iron Hammer,” a brave warrior-commander of the Koguryo kingdom that lasted for about 700 years and ruled most of the Korean Peninsula and the heart of Manchuria until its downfall in AD 668. The concept and design of “Boy General” are simple, and its map-like scenery is reminiscent of the “Minecraft” game. Since there is nothing like the App Store in North Korea 1 , the most common way of getting the game appears to be sharing it over Bluetooth. Games are not new to North Korean mobile phone users. Not long after the use of mobile phones was opened up in 2009, some handsets came pre-installed with games such as “Tetris” or janggi, a chess-like game that is popular across East Asia. As phones and to a lesser extent tablets have become more sophisticated, so have the games available for North Koreans to enjoy. With its state-of-the-art animation values, often beautiful artistry and entertaining characters and plot developments, the TV show has been a breath of fresh air for North Koreans, who are increasingly exposed to Chinese or South Korean entertainment. State-run TV is dominated by bland fare of old propaganda movies and news programs praising the country’s leadership. “Boy General” may be North Korea’s answer to that challenge. Both the TV series and the game clearly have the support of ruling regime. The TV show is a revamped and vastly improved version of a 50-episode cartoon that started in the 1980s and ran on and off until 1997. In November last year, leader Kim Jong Un himself ordered the production of the 50 new episodes from the April 26 Animation Studios. It’s not clear who designed the game version. The political message remains strong. For starters, there is the obvious analogy of Swoeme to leader Kim, who while still in his early 30s has among his many titles that of Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. They also reinforce the official line that the nation must remain united against the constant threat of foreign invaders. Koguryo, which like today’s North Korea had its capital in Pyongyang, was overthrown by an alliance between the Chinese Tang Dynasty and the southern Korean kingdom of Silla. The dastardly and yet often comical villain is Hobi, a snaggle-toothed, pig-nosed Chinese spy who tried to assassinate Swoeme before he rose to the ranks as general. But the real appeal of the game and many others now available in North Korea appears to be that it’s just fun to play. Another new or perhaps updated game that came out this summer is called “Tank Battle,” a shoot ’em up in which the goal is to destroy as many enemy tanks as possible. One might expect the American flag to be visible somewhere, but the nationality of the enemy tanks is not specified. For those of a more nurturing nature, there is a virtual pet game, which explains why from time to time faint meows can be heard near gatherings of young North Koreans. The virtual pet in their pocket is lonely. A game that looks a lot like ” Angry Birds 2 ” is still popular, along with a “Bubble-Popping” game and for the very young, “Baby Piano,” for tapping out songs. Though local users are unable to connect to the Internet North Korea instead has its own domestic-use-only Intranet they can send each other text messages, photos and, for high-end users, videos. Phones also come with dictionaries, encyclopedias and provide access to e-books and some state-run news sites. If you want to know the weather forecast, you can call 112. KoryoLink, the county’s mobile service provider, also recently introduced a selection of about 200 ringtones for a small additional fee. But if you want to call or text a foreigner, you are out of luck. They are kept on a different network. References ^ North Korea (abcnews.go.com) ^ Angry Birds (abcnews.go.com)

Pensioners are saving more as they get older

01 December 2015 The report suggests older people are taking a frugal approach to saving in retirement Pensioners are saving more as they move through retirement, according to a new report. The figures, gathered by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and Prudential, bust the myth of older people splashing their retirement cash on leisure and holidays. Instead, it seems retirees are taking a sensible, even frugal, approach to managing their money. Find out more: How much money will I need in retirement? 1 – our guide to budgeting for old age Older households save more At a time when many experts fear the pension changes 2 will encourage people to fritter away their money, the ILC calculates that UK retirees are saving a total of around 48.7bn per annum. This equates to 2.8% of GDP. The table below shows that households are saving 4,142 annually when the head of the household is 65-69, with the figure rising to 5,872.50 by the time the head of household is 80+. How much are pensioners saving? Age Average weekly savings Average annual savings 65-69 79.70 4,142.00 70-74 88.10 4,582.10 75-79 100.90 5,247.40 80+ 112.90 5,872.50 Find out more: How much do I need to save in my pension? 3 – what you’ll need for a comfortable retirement Spend less, save more Savings levels are boosted in later years, but not always for positive reasons. Health concerns restrict an increasing proportion of older people from doing the things they want in retirement. This partially explains the fall in expenditure and rise in saving levels. The report reveals that from the age of 50 onwards, spending on most non-essential items begins a slow decline. With the exception of the early stage of retirement, retirement does not lead to more holidays or other leisure activities. Nor does retirement lead to a sudden splurge in eating out. Speaking about the implications for pension provision, Ben Franklin, head of economics of ageing at ILC, said: In light of the pension freedoms, there has been much speculation about consumption needs in retirement and the types of retirement income products that might be required to meet these needs. Striking the right balance between flexibility and security will not be an easy task and will require financial guidance and advice throughout retirement. The data was gathered via the Office for National Statistics’ latest Living Costs and Food Survey and is based on the average for the highest-earning member of the household. More on this… References ^ How much money will I need in retirement? (www.which.co.uk) ^ pension changes (www.which.co.uk) ^ How much do I need to save in my pension? (www.which.co.uk)

Teens threatened in Rubery mobile phone robbery£

Two teenagers were threatened by a man brandishing a knife in a robbery close to Morrisons in Rubery yesterday evening (7th October). The male and female, both aged 16, left the Morrisons store at around 7.20pm. As they walked down a pathway towards the Great Park leisure park they were approached by a man brandishing a serrated steak knife The man made off with two mobile phones and cash. The teens, unharmed, made their way to a friend s house where police were called. One teen has received their phone, a Samsung Galaxy, back after it was quickly sold on. The second phone, still outstanding, is a black Sony Xperia with a pink strip at the bottom and a crack at the bottom half of the screen. Enquiries into the robbery are ongoing. If you are offered the phone for sale or have any information, please call police on 101. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 VN:F 1.9.22_1171 Rating: 0.0/ 5 (0 votes cast) VN:F 1.9.22_1171 Tags: B45 , Great Park , knife , mobile phone , robbery , rubery , west midlands police 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 References ^ B45 (b31.org.uk) ^ Great Park (b31.org.uk) ^ knife (b31.org.uk) ^ mobile phone (b31.org.uk) ^ robbery (b31.org.uk) ^ rubery (b31.org.uk) ^ west midlands police (b31.org.uk) £