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tahminamannan

Tahmina Mannan on the importance of not burying your head in the sand when it comes to retirement planning.

You don't have to look at longevity statistics or news headlines to be told  we're all getting older.

For the first time, we are seeing more than three generations of people living in or nearing retirement in the same family.

The number of people aged 65 and over has exceeded the number of 15 year olds and estimates from the Office for National Statistics suggest that by 2050, the number of teens will stay the same but the number of over 65s will shockingly double.

Make no old bones about it, (sorry!), the strain on the public purse will be severe. Add to this the social consequences of where we're heading, the picture looks pretty dire.

According to the latest World Economic Forum's Global Risk outlook report, income disparity will be the biggest threat to global security in the coming years. As the rich get older and richer, the poor seem to be getting poorer.

As it stands, there is very real and grave danger of hurtling towards a dystopia where we end up with a fraught, highly-taxed and resentful small working population struggling to shoulder the needs of an increasingly impoverished and irate retired population.

This will especially be the case if state pensions shrink and the tax and social costs associated with an ageing population grow.

Women will inevitably be worse off. We earn less than our male counterparts for all sorts of reasons, but we also live far longer. As we struggle to get by day-to-day with ever increasing prices and inflation eroding our meagre savings, the thought of retirement may seem an age away.

But look at it this way. According to Standard Life, you need an income of nearly £20,000 a year to be able to afford a few weeks in the sun, a couple of meals out, a few trips to the cinema and the occasional home improvement. The stuff of retirement dreams.

 

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