Friday, 24 July 2015

Pensions

I've never really thought about this before. Pensions, or more specifically 'My Pension' has lurked somewhere over there in the shadows. I would prefer not to look, after all, when you are young and propelling yourself best you can through life, a pension is the last thing on your mind, and I'm sure all pension providers are deeply aware of this fact (mores the pity).
So I looked at the figure on the page and winced. Previously, even in full time employment, I would only come across this information when doing my taxes each January, a chore made bearable only because Julie and I do them together at the same time and we usually get some money back. Soon we won't have to make tax returns, so we probably shan't, and we wont get any money back. That's part of George Osborne's cunning plan. Whatever, you look at the figure as if something must be wrong with it, and put it back in the box.
It seems this pensions business is a bit more of a problem than I thought. In most unlikely circumstances I find myself grazing some financial guidance; it has the term 'aging population' leaping from the page. My father was lucky enough to have a final salary pension, which pays out seemingly forever as a percentage of his final wage packet. They put a stop to that as a general policy years ago; what you will get (roughly speaking) is just the interest on what you've put in the pot, and therefore if interest is 1%, you'd need £100,000 to get £1000 per year. So frankly we'll all be poor. Worse, if the markets go tits up we'll all be starving. You might have the where-with-all to invest £100,000 and get 7%, but what have you invested in- probably in the chicanery that got the banks in to trouble in the first place! What to do?
Thankfully Julie is ever ready with an answer: 'Wind farms!- Wave power!' she says.

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