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News for you and your seniors January 2022

Here’s a roundup of important updates affecting you and your older relatives, from driving licences to mobile banking and state pensions.

A reminder that anyone over 79 should renew their driving licence. It costs nothing but may take longer because, of course, of the effects of coronavirus.

A growing number of ‘baby boomers’ are moving back in with their parents. That’s down to a variety of factors: job loss during the pandemic, breakup of relationships, and a temporary arrangement when lockdown began that has become permanent. Does this sound like you? We’d love to hear your story. Email [email protected]

Uncertain about face masks? They may not be mandatory in many places, but a large number of people are determined to continue wearing them to protect others. If you’d like to protect the wearer as well from airborne particles, you could look at the FFP2 standard masks.

Nearly half of home-owning pensioners are not claiming the state pensions to which they are entitled, which means they are potentially missing out on nearly £1,200 a year. There are a number of benefits that the retired could claim, with the key ones being Guarantee Pension Credit, Savings Pension Credit and Council Tax Reduction.

The Royal Society of Pharmacists has said that the suggested rise in the age to 66 at which people can benefit from free prescriptions in England is hard to understand at a time when the cost of living is soaring. Moreover, the bureaucracy involved in charging patients is seen as a waste of pharmacists’ time.

Which? Money has taken a look at bank and mobile banking security, and found some banks to have weaknesses which could be exploited by fraudsters. While the review found that the all the apps and websites are safe enough to use, Which? believes that some could do better to achieve the highest standards.

Probate fees have increased in England to a single, flat rate fee of £273. This is a rise from £215 for non-professional users. Probate is usually needed for estates worth more than £10,000. As with many services, the granting of probate is taking much longer than pre-pandemic.

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