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      28.06.2009 20:45
      Very helpful



      It's not where you start it's where you finish.

      When I was young I used to visit my Mum in the hospital where she was a Senior Ward Sister, one of the wards that she had to oversee was a female geriatric ward and I often spent my time chatting to the patients.

      I was old to enough to have a reasonable conversation, but as I was still in single figures, I understandably had a limited knowledge of the world of politics and finance.

      There was a recurrent theme that ran thru the conversations- how they used to be able to do something but could now longer afford to when they retired e.g. " I used to have a shampoo and set once a week- I'm lucky if I can afford it once a month now".

      I came away from all these regularly themed conversations drawing the conclusion that one day the government had announced that no woman aged 60 or over could return to work and in turn they would be given a paltry subsistence. I carried on believing this for quite a while- my talks with the patients only serving to confirm my belief.

      This could be the only answer, as if not why, using the aforementioned example would you not just have a shampoo and set once a fortnight and save for the future.

      Oh the naivety of youth.

      One day, I remember not how, I recall finding out the truth from my Father- the pension had initially been intended to be enough for a reasonable standard of living, as long as you had paid sufficient national insurance contributions, but sooner rather than later this had not been the outcome and people reaching pension age had found themselves wanting if they had no savings.

      So I knew by about the age of nine , that it was essential, vital, that when I grew up I had to save for my retirement.

      Over the years my Mother was promoted to Matron and my conversations at the hospital were somewhat infrequent. Nevertheless I heard the same theme- "I used to be able to afford and now I can't" on the bus, in magazines on tv etc; etc; etc.

      Now if the people were living on the bare minimum I would have been able to understand the problem- but they weren't- the we used to able to stories made that perfectly clear.

      So maybe you should think about whether you should be saving the money you spend on non essentials- like the skinny double shot cappuccino - because it'll be as you realise later in life, what you have to live on in retirement - when you will wake up and smell that coffee.


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