The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Future Prospects

News Story
Clever budgeting needed for retirement
Tuesday 12th July 2011

"The accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) predicts workers will need to work for longer and pay higher taxes to sustain the baby-boom generation of pensioners. This comes a week ahead of an official study on the subject by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
"The accounting firm calculates that reducing public debt to just below 40% of GDP by 2050, the same level as just before the financial crisis, would require 'fiscal tightening' that amounts to £20bn more 'austerity' and increasing the planned retirement age to 70.

"Under current proposals, the State Pension age would increase to 66 for both men and women by April 2020.

"Concerns have been raised by those who need to change their financial plans for retirement. The changes would affect women born on or between 6 April 1953 and 5 April 1960 - and men born on or between 6 December 1953 and 5 April 1960.

"Those affected by the change may have already arranged their finances to secure enough income for a decent standard of living in retirement. However, women could be facing an extra 6 years of work before they can draw the state pension (compared with a retirement age of 60, which most were expecting).
"If PricewaterhouseCoopers is correct, workers will face a further squeeze on their finances - as well as those approaching or already in retirement.

"Budgeting and living within your means is something that people of all ages would be well advised to do, particularly at the moment. There are even bank accounts that can help you to manage your money."

Being patronised by accountants - hmmmn.  One of the other things to "look forward to" in later life, eh?

The Husband and I both fall into the age range I have highlighted in bold italics, and we have been aware this was coming for two or three years now.  I suppose some people hoped the ConDems might have smiled kindly on their silver-haired voters, but we never expected them to, or anyone else to, for that matter, and maybe even 66 by 2020 won't happen either.  It could be put back yet again.  For younger people than us the prospects are even more bleak.  Our children's generation fully expect to get no state pension until 70+, maybe even 75.  They can retire whenever their employers will let them, of course, but they may need to continue to pay NI contribution into their state pension fund until they are deemed old and decrepit enough to be allowed to collect it. Either that or have invested so much in their private pensions they can manage without a state pension altogether.

Of course, it's not just the post-war baby boom to blame.  If the NHS hadn't been so fabulously successful in improving public health, and the increased standards of living achieved since 1945 hadn't happened, and the average age at death hadn't gone up so much, we wouldn't have this huge ageing population to support and fund.  It's without doubt the only "dead cert" growth area left in the economy; end-of-life care.  Pun intended. And if carers were to become as unionised and politicised as teachers, one day they might have the country over a barrel by threatening to strike; " Pay us more or wipe your own granny's shitty arse!"

We are living in interesting times.  I am, for one, fervently hoping I don't live on and on TOO long in them.  75 will do me.  80 tops.  Sorry to anyone who thinks they will miss me, but you'll thank me in the end, for not living into my 80s and 90s, I promise you.


  1. An interesting and sadly only too true post, Baby Sis. DD keeps us updated very clearly on pension implications for younger people and she certainly doesn't expect to be able to retire until her late sixties, if then. The only ray of light is that the number of contribution years for a full pension is now 30 for both sexes and every year of contributions counts, rather than having any years fewer than 10 ignored completely as was the case in the past (as I know!!)

    DH and I are baby-boomers (hangs head in shame) and DH has now been retired for 13 years on just his curtailed work pension before qualifying at last for his OAP this year. It can be done, but you do have to budget very carefully.

    Incidentally, the real success of the NHS in raising life expectancy is at the other end of life - the huge reductions in natal and infant mortality as well as maternal mortality and the conquering of killers such as TB. Look at the burial registers in any parish for the 19th century (as I sometimes did) and those who managed to survive childhood, giving birth and work-related accidents often lived to a very ripe old age. It's just that there are now more of us doing so.

  2. I would have mentioned the vastly improved infant survival rates, and also the fact more middle-aged people survive cancer and heart disease etc (including us - WHOOP! WHOOP!) and go on to live twenty or thirty years longer, except I wanted to keep it brief and punchy.

    The simple equation is still the more people who live for longer the bigger "top end" of population we will have, and the more we as a nation will have to gear up to care for people who are vulnerable, frail and more than likely confused at the end of their life. No-one minds much changing a baby's nappy, but it takes a special sort person to change a nonegenarian's nappy, and deal with the declining abilities of extreme old age rather than the exciting development of a young child.

    I worry that we don't have enough of those special people, and we will never value them or pay them enough. Then there will be an ever-widening gulf between the care that is needed and the quality of care that is provided. If it's bad now, it will be even worse before long.