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Pensions - are we sleepwalking into a hell of a mess

by Sellick Partnership | 3 September 2015

From speaking to my friends and colleagues, I think most people are aware that saving for a pension is important, yet many of us aren't doing anything about it. And if we are, or were - then whatever we were doing is sitting in a pot not doing a lot or we're not saving enough to make a difference when we're older. According to the insurer Aviva, nearly two-thirds of people aged over 45 haven't checked the performance of their pension, meaning around 10 million retirement savings schemes are at risk of underperforming.

After a recent meeting at work about pensions, it came to light that we'll all be pretty much stuffed in the future unless we start saving now! The average cost of living we decided was £20k (obviously this wouldn't be massively lavish) - so at my age, I'd have to save over £13k for the next 30 years to have enough money to retire at 60 and live for 20 years. Now this could be doable for those earning above the average wage but to save over £1k per month for most people would be impossible! And what happens after we turn 80, who is going to support us then? I doubt the Government will be able to! 

My ethos in life is to seize the day and live life for the moment however I'm not sure I'll be saying that when I'm working until I'm 80 - if someone will actually employ me that is! 

So it led me to think about how we've got into this situation and what the solution is. I've read a few articles and people seem to say that it's my parent's generation who are to blame. Whilst their wealth is growing; wages are increasing, the properties they bought cheaply are growing in value and their vote still counts as the young aren't getting involved. The young on the other hand are directly paying towards 'Pay as you go' pensions which we will see nothing of, the same goes for the NHS - who knows if this will be around when we're retired. And those living in London for example, are lining the pockets of buy-to-let investors and generally living month by month rather than saving for an overpriced shoe box. 

It seems the only way this can be turned round is to get voting - but is that ever really going to happen? I doubt it! The politicians speak out to the people they know will vote and always have - my parent's generation - not the young so how will this ever change?

Pretty scary really… so we're on our own. I'm pretty confident that at 65 years old I will not want to be working full time anymore so I'll be voting and encouraging others to do the same. And saving, of course. 

How will you be preparing to save for the future? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the current situation in the comments below...