Retirees who are making the online world work for them

For some, retirement is that fun and relaxing life stage when you can switch off the need to get your head around new technologies.

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4 min read
For some, retirement is that fun and relaxing life stage when you can switch off the need to get your head around new technologies. But for others like Linda, a retiree from Melbourne's south eastern suburbs, it can turn out to be the complete opposite.

“I won an iPad in a work raffle a few weeks before retiring, and almost four years on, I’m lucky if there’s a day that goes by where I don’t use it one thing or another,” explains Linda.

The now-retired office worker from Melbourne admits that she spends a great chunk of her time online researching destinations and finding great prices on flights and accommodation for her holidays, but she’s also finding that the internet’s an easy and convenient place to track and pay her bills – from gas and electricity, to car, home and contents insurance.

“Up until a few years ago, every bill that got paid would wind up in my portafile,” says Linda. “And for whatever reason, no matter what type of bill it was, I’d end up hanging onto a copy for as many as five years before it went through the shredder.

“Often, I’d be struggling to snap the portafile’s lock shut – it was always that full!”

But these days, whenever she can, Linda chooses to have her bills emailed to her instead – mainly since it’s the same place she winds up paying them.

Enjoying the benefits of using new technology

“I use online banking for everything I can, from sorting out the credit card to paying off airfares,” explains Linda. “I couldn’t tell you the last time I stepped into a branch.

Although sometimes, thanks to Direct Debit, there can be ever less to do. Just like with her gas and electricity bills.

“When an AGL bill lands in our inbox, I check two things: the cost and the date the payment will automatically come out of our account, just so I can make sure the money’s sitting there.

“After that, I just save a copy and file the email away in a folder – and that’s something I’ve even done from overseas before, which was handy,” Linda explains.

Paying the bills isn’t the only reason she goes online to manage her energy accounts online, either. Though she puts this added interest down to having solar panels.

Guessing the power bill’s total each quarter has become quite addictive,” Linda says. “After being the one who’s paid them for so many years, it’s been really interesting to go online and compare what they likely would’ve otherwise been.

“Especially during summer – that’s when the panels seem to be paying for themselves!”

Linda’s top three reasons for receiving bills via email:
  1. Bills don’t sit in the letterbox when you’re on holiday – they’re always accessible.
  2. Keeping your records up to date is made simpler, plus there’s no more shredding.
  3. From paying bills online to raising enquiries, it’s easy to share information.