Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Never Retire

The pensions crisis has dragged on for years now. The hole is £200bn deep, and recent stock market rises have not helped to fill it, because bond yields fell at the same time. In fact some households are now missing 5 years worth of living expenses.

Listening to the experts, there is no plan for getting individuals out of this mess. Meanwhile corporations are busy minimising their exposure as best they can, and the UK courts have (grudgingly) upheld the law allowing employers to require us to 'retire' at 65.

Tempted as I am to campaign to raise the 'retirement age', I think we should forget it. It's only there for our employers' benefit, and they may not last long enough for it to matter anyway. For us, there is no retirement, only age. We have no pension 'entitlements'. The welfare state is dead. Investing for the future is like trying to beat the casino.

Like it or not we're in charge of our own welfare, and we need to take control. Some are calling this process "rewirement", which is nice. 'Work' is not a chore that can ever be dispensed with, simple as that. And we can't rely on a single employer. We need multiple revenue streams in case any one of them dries up. We have to remain alert to opportunities, and be flexible enough to take each one. And so on. Until we drop.

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