Pension age increase

So there you are with your eye on the prize… and it gets moved out of view! You check your glasses prescription, still the same. You check your date of birth, still the same. You look around at your colleagues and see them snickering… You have been duped!

I feel bad enough for the youth, but being at the start of their career or only 10 years in, you have not set your sights on the finish line. Promotions, family, many changes in job and career stand between you and retirement. But I feel for those who are 10/15 years out, it must be soul destroying.

It seems Tesco is leading the way, there always has to be a pioneer! Unions are in negotiation with the supermarket giant but it seems they are unlikely to succeed in reversing the two year increase in its retirement age. This will affect the 172,000 active staff at Tesco. Two years does not sound a lot but at 65, it certainly feels like more.

I know we are much healthier than we were before, better medical support and therefore living longer but that does not help the tired bones to get going in the morning.

The other issue is the increase in unemployment across all age groups. We are told to keep working but what if we do not have a job due to redundancy. It’s much harder to get a job at 55/60 than in your twenties.

What’s the answer? I just don’t know! But more so than ever we need to enjoy our everyday lives and not live for retirement, take the holidays you can and spend time with the children as well as grandchildren – Do not wait for retirement.


Retirement planning

A question that pops into our minds often enough is, ‘Should I spend my money now while I am still able to enjoy it, or will I regret it if I live longer than anticipated?’

‘Rather than pushing large sums into my pension plan I’m tempted to enjoy the money now. I love to walk and travel. Do I spend it now while healthy, living more frugally later? Or the other way round? Do you really need that much money when older? What’s your experience?’

This was a question posed on the Guardian website and it got me thinking…

I am tempted to say blow it now given the appalling record of pension funds. But being old and poor is a horrible thought and you might live for another 35+ years, then what?

I think the answer depends on a few factors. Do you already have a pension plan? How long will you want or be able to work for? What other assets do you have that you could draw on in old age – for example, a house that could be downsized? Portfolios sold?

Could you have planned all these wonderful things for retirement and be hit by a train a day before retirement? A case of ‘Would have, could have, should have.’

If you have the answer or some thoughts met me know. I think I will come down on the side of moderation for now, enjoy some travel but also save, I never was much of a gambler!