I was dragged along, last week, to a review of our finances and investments…
Something I usually face with something akin to dread. But this one was actually very good.
My husband and I (sound like Elizabeth and Philip, don’t I?) were installed in a blush boardroom, given proper coffee and treated to an hour and a half of financial review.
It seemed to me that IFAs are much like police officers… they’re getting younger every week! Or is it just me getting just a tad older?
Anyway, our financial adviser – Scott – took us through all of our investments and pensions, which started to look a little thin on the ground until we remembered things like ISAs and endowments!
The thing that struck me, though, was that the most valuable investments both my husband and I have are our pensions from previous employers.
We were both working in banks and had non-contributory final salary pension schemes… which are now rarer than a set of hen’s dentures.
Looking back at the time when I was working for the bank (which I did from leaving school to my late twenties) the benefit that turned me on the least was the pension scheme. I was much more interested in the cheap mortgage and even more interested in the Christmas night out. Whereas, right now, that pension scheme looks like a very big benefit indeed. Given that reward and remuneration is made up from salary and a range of benefits, it now feels slightly worrying that I was so blasé towards the pension.
And it seems to me that the real challenge in closing the pensions gap lies in not getting people to contribute to pension plans, but to get them to contribute at a young enough age to make a real difference. And that’s at a time in our lives when other things are much more important… like having fun!
So, how do we make saving for retirement sexy? How do we dig ourselves out of this hole we find ourselves in? How can we, in EB, do our bit to help tackle this shortfall, which, to be honest, has got ‘Disaster’ written all over it?
There’s your challenge, Scott! To write a blog in response to this one giving the rest of us in Enterprise Britain some ideas about how we can help make pension savings sexy.
Hmmm… best of luck on that one.