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Not my fault I was born in the early 50's .

(121 Posts)
Daffonanna Tue 08-Aug-17 13:00:07

Always so much good natured wisdom on here , I really hope you'll share your thoughts . News today about "Pension Jackpot for baby boomers " We have discounts , free travel , triple lock pensions , and a whole raft of benefits that our children and grandchildren are funding. Many of our generation need all that and more ; the fact is many others don't , have paid off the mortgage , but still get the benefits . Means testing is not cost effective so I really want to know , is it all balanced fairly by taxation ? If not , why not ? I don't want to be seen as one of a generation who grabbed the loot then pulled up the ladder , and as I get older I don't want my family or their peers to be just about managing .

suzied Tue 08-Aug-17 13:10:32

Why should older people be poor? I feel better off now because I have paid off the mortgage, worked, paid into a pension and saved and no longer have dependent children. When I did have kids at home and a mortgage I was skint, definitely just about managing, just like many families now. The UK state pension is one of the lowest in Europe, and any little benefits along the way have been hard won. Don't argue yourself into poverty.

Maggiemaybe Tue 08-Aug-17 13:55:07

You must have been born earlier in the 50s than me (late 1954). I don't have free travel or any state pension, triple locked or not, nor the whole raft of benefits you mention (though I'm not sure what this means, apart from a heating allowance), and won't have till I'm 66. I do get free prescriptions and have had an occasional over-60s meal - oh, and I get extra points on my Boots Advantage card - but I certainly don't feel that I've grabbed any loot or pulled up any ladder. My thoughts are: don't buy into the hype that tries to pit generation against generation. Some of our generation are very well off, others are just managing, others are truly struggling - the same applies to those following on.

Luckygirl Tue 08-Aug-17 14:01:44

It is a silly proposition that our generation is sucking the lifeblood from the next. We have been poor; we have worked out tripe out; we have struggled in our time with eye-watering mortgage rates that would be regarded with horror now.

Some of the struggles of the next generation have not been generated by us, but by two things: successive government policies and higher expectations of material comforts.

MaizieD Tue 08-Aug-17 14:02:15

There are pensioners living in poverty according to the figures quoted in this BBC story:

It says that 12.2million pensioners, or people of pensionable age, received winter fuel payments. It also says that 1.9million are receiving pension credit, payable if income is less than £159.35 a week, single, £243.45 for couples. It also notes that "there has been research suggesting that about one-third of people entitled to it are not claiming", which would increase that figure by almost one million. Which would give us a figure of about 3 million, or about 25% of pensioners.

I think the remaining 75% of us are benefiting from:

Better, free, education in the post war period, enabling us to have better paid, secure, jobs, (enabling us to save more)

Generous pension schemes which are no longer available to younger people

The crazy property market which means that many of us inherited wealth from houses which our parents bought for modest sums which had massively increased in value. While at the same time owning our own houses which have done much the same thing.

The fact that we are more likely to vote than younger people so we've been the recipients of political 'bribery' in the form of safeguarding the value of our pensions at a time when the potential value of younger people's potential pensions has been eroded.

I think we've possibly also benefited from parents in whom the value of thriftiness persisted even when they could have well afforded to have spent more as they became older and more wealthy (My late FiL dedicated his life to the pursuit of 'cheap' but left a very respectable sum in addition to a fairly valuable house)

So although we may have been pretty skint while buying our own houses and raising our children we have acquired wealth in late middle age/ early old age which few people in previous generations would have expected to have.

We've been very lucky.

Whereas younger people struggle with high further education costs, an even more crazy housing market (exacerbated by a shortage of housing), insecure jobs and stagnating wages. And less rosy pension prospects.

Well, that's my take on it. I'm sure people will leap in to disagree.

grannyticktock Tue 08-Aug-17 14:19:30

I agree, Dafonanna. I am comfortably off in my retirement and would gladly see (and pay) higher taxes, similar to the level of taxes we paid in our early working years. I refuse to take the blame for the fact that some people decided that almost everyone should be in education until they're about 21 but that they'd have to fund it themselves, and that higher taxation is unthinkable.

I was lucky enough to be able, with my husband, to buy a house when we were in our 20s - but we didn't have a gap year, or go travelling, or play the field with successive partners, we just got married, got jobs, settled down and had a family. We grew up young, lived within our limited means, and worked for what we had.

It is not my fault that housing is now so expensive, but the prosperity of our generation will trickle down to our heirs. My family know that the house and any other assets I own (subject to any care home fees!) will one day be theirs, so it's not money thrown away or selfishly squandered.

Smileless2012 Tue 08-Aug-17 14:55:24

Our DS and lovely d.i.l. live in rented accommodation in Aus. and have done so since they married 5 years ago. Their joint earnings far out way ours; neither of us are at state pension age although Mr. S. will be next year.

They can't put together a deposit to buy because their money goes elsewhere; expensive holidays, expensive dogs (2), expensive photo's of their dogs and socialising; the list goes on. DS often refers to them being skinthmm.

They have no children and this is the life style they've chosen and enjoy which of course is great. Our other son who we're estranged from is buying his own home and has 2 children, who we are also estranged from. This was made possible by a size able financial investment by us and my brother, who he is also estranged from.

The second paragraph of your post grannyticktock describes ours perfectly and I agree Luckylegs that one of the reasons the younger generation struggles is because they have "higher expectations of material comforts".

TBH I'm fed up with hearing about this "Pension Jackpot for baby boomers". Mr. S. born in the 50's doesn't have a pension jackpot, just what we've managed to save and invest in our 37 year marriage.

We're no different to what I'm sure is the majority of our generation. We've worked hard to provide for our children and ourselves in our retirement. I don't think for one moment that we would ever squander what it's taken so many years to accumulate, but if we did, it's ours so why shouldn't we.

ginny Tue 08-Aug-17 14:58:48

No mortgage here and we enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, lucky , lucky us. However we worked dammed hard for what we have now. We bought up three children and went without ourselves. We live within our means and had few luxuries for years. No state pension or other 'perks' for me until the month before my 66th Birthday. I dare anyone to tell me that I am not entitled to what I have.

Daffonanna Tue 08-Aug-17 15:36:49

This is why the president should be on here not Twitter ; Considered and mature discussion from so many points of view . A chance arrival in very early 1950's results in a gain that those following a bit later have to wait for , work harder for or maybe cannot achieve at all through no fault of their own . My parents had sleepless nights over thoughts of us ever paying off our mortgage , which seemed impossible at the time . Political bribery can misfire if the decision makers fail to realise that we are thinking members of the community , not just an aging generation in need of support .

Eglantine19 Tue 08-Aug-17 15:41:48

For the first three years we lived off my salary and saved my husbands for the deposit (no meals out, takeaways, cinema, anything!) I had three outfits, two for work, one for weekends. We furnished the house with our parents old furniture. When the first baby came we painted my husbands old cot, my cousin lent me her pram and baby clothes. Our holidays were staying with our parents. The mortgage rate was 15%.
I think I deserve my retirement.

hulahoop Tue 08-Aug-17 15:48:55

I don't feel guilty we worked hard did without didn't have fancy holidays, we didn't inherit anything from our parents in fact we helped mine taking them on hols etc. We help our children out with child care help to buy car etc

Deedaa Tue 08-Aug-17 16:21:48

I'm certainly not short of money at the moment. It's amazing how much money you can save sitting at home instead of travelling to work every day, and it helps only needing one car instead of two. On the other hand we are endlessly helping out the DCs and it looks as if we'll be doing that for the foreseeable future.

Ilovecheese Tue 08-Aug-17 16:54:28

I'm with maggiemaybe on this one. I was also born in 1954 and don't get state pension or bus pass. I have a small LA pension, but never earned enough to put much into it.
I didn't feel very lucky when I inherited my parents house at 24 years old, but maybe I was. Couldn't have afforded to buy my own as a single parent.
But this pitting the generations against each other is all wrong. Are they softening us up for a cull?

GillT57 Tue 08-Aug-17 16:58:49

Nobody need feel guilty for what they have worked for, it is not our fault. I don't get any pension benefits for another 6 years and fully expect the bus passes etc to have been abolished by then. I am not going to get into a 'we had it hard' type discussion, and I think we should all be aware that we are being manipulated, used and abused by the press who like to stir up ill feeling between generations, perhaps to distract all of us from the dreadful things which are being done to state provision of education and health. Nothing like getting generations to blame each other for the ills of their world, leaving the true perpetrators to get on with what they are doing.

gillybob Tue 08-Aug-17 17:01:20

Well I was born in 1962 and will no doubt work until I drop dead . No pension until
I'm 67( and 7 months??) unless of course they move the goalposts again. DH and I though we could have retired together when he was 70 and I was 60 however he will now have to work until he's almost 78 !

phoenix Tue 08-Aug-17 17:12:28

Born in 1958, so 60 next year. Luckily, I have a job, as if I was starting job hunting again at my age (been there, done that) it would be damn tough, especially in a rural area.

Yes, I understand that people are living longer, and moving the goalposts raising the state pension age will save the Gov a lot of money.

BUT Not everyone has a private pension, and not everyone has paid off their mortgage.

Due to circumstances, Mr P & I (second marriage) could only take on an interest only mortgage.

We have absolutely no way of ever finding the money the pay off the capital sad

We both drive pretty old cars, haven't had a holiday since 2005.

So, like Gillybob will probably work until we drop.

The thing I don't understand, if we all have to work longer, where are all these jobs going to come from? (There will come a point where all the assistants in B&Q will be going round the store on mobility scooters)

In our village, and in the nearest towns, new houses are being built left right and centre (please note, that was NOT a political reference) but THERE ARE NO JOBS!

Chewbacca Tue 08-Aug-17 17:29:18

Another here like Maggiemaybe, born mid fifties and hoping that my state retirement age doesn't get put back for a 4th time. Never been in a position to have a works pension and, by the time the new one came in last October, I don't have enough working life to contribute anything much to it, so it will be the basic state pension for me in 2 years. I can't understand why anyone would think of a "pension jackpot". I've worked non stop for 48 years; 50 by the time I retire and never claimed state benefits. Iwill have earned every last penny of my pension assuming I ever actually get it.

rosesarered Tue 08-Aug-17 20:21:16

Am enjoying our older age perks, such as they are, bus passes, free prescriptions, discounts at hairdresser and cinema etc and the state pension, but as others say, we have worked all our lives, saved up, and brought up a family.Also like others we are helping out DC where we can.Yes, nice to have paid off the mortgage, but interest rates were never low back then, and I remember paying up to 15% !

Jalima1108 Tue 08-Aug-17 20:40:59

Pensioners in this country are not exempt from income tax as they are in some countries.

Provided their income is above the personal allowance threshold, of course, which many are not.

Jalima1108 Tue 08-Aug-17 20:45:05

But this pitting the generations against each other is all wrong. Are they softening us up for a cull?
I have wondered that too ilovecheese
State-aided voluntary? euthanasia.

In our village, and in the nearest towns, new houses are being built left right and centre (please note, that was NOT a political reference)

I am always amazed when some people claim that no houses are being built because whenever we go anywhere we see hundreds, if not thousands, of new houses going up . Many affordable homes too.

Oriel Tue 08-Aug-17 20:49:30

I'm another of those born in the mid-50's and despite working for 48 years, the only thing I get is free prescriptions. I will have to wait till I'm 66 to get my state pension. I feel really annoyed that the government raised the pension age so rapidly giving no time to to make adjustments.

devongirl Tue 08-Aug-17 21:10:09

Personally struggling to make ends meet, I'm amazed at the young people walking around with the latest iPhone - it must be costing them a fortune!! I can't help thinking, no wonder they're struggling..

Chewbacca Tue 08-Aug-17 21:13:35

Me too Oriel. If they'd told me when I was 58 that I'd have to work until I was 66, that would have given me the opportunity to set up a pension and contribute to it for 8 years. But by just moving the goal posts every 2 years, it was impossible to plan ahead.

M0nica Tue 08-Aug-17 21:55:05

Every generation is different. We benefited from free tertiary education, but less than 5% of the school population went to university. Now nearly 40% do.

Buying a house would be much cheaper now, talking in terms of purchase price, if interest rates were 10% or more. We bought cheap but paid considerably more than younger people will, proportionately, if you take into account how much we ended up paying for our houses in high interest mortgage payments and many of us have used the equity in our houses to give our DC significant sums of money to get buy their first houses. help we didn't have.

Of course the older you are the more likely you are to be better off. Most of us start with little and gradually build up our assets so that they are at their maximum when they retire. Anyway, look at how so many people kick up about rich kids getting an easy run in life because they have money. The Beckham children, and the children of other wealthy people.

Getting Pension Credit does mean you are in poverty before you get it, but with it, it certainly isn't riches, but many people live comfortably but modestly on it. I used to work for a charity for older people as a benefit adviser and problem solver. Most of those on PC were in decent quality council housing and if you added onto their income with PC the housing benefit and council tax they also received, their effective income was comfortable.

I think our big advantage has been our pensions 1) PC, which did not exist for previous generations and may not be so generous under future governments 2) for those of us who receive them, occupational pensions, especially final salary schemes. But very few of us get a full OP. DH has about 25 years FSP, I only qualified for 11 years of FSP but for 10 years I paid the maximum amount of extra money I could to buy extra pension, and we are comfortably off as a result.

The triple lock has nothing to do with us. This was thrust upon us by the generation below us. It is only bribery, if we voted for the Conservatives as a result of it. Since I didn't and have expressed my disapproval of it on GN and elsewhere. If it was bribery, the bribe was not accepted.

I have also benefited from inheritance, as quite a lot of us have, but like many, much has already been handed on to DC and even more, DGC and we are doing all we can to make sure we leave a reasonable sum to our children, even after care fees. The proportion of us who will need care is not that large.

Most of my family have, so to speak died at an advance age with their boots still on or after brief illnesses. Hard on those who need the care, but the proportion of every age diagnosed with dementia is going down and fewer of us are crippled by disabling conditions like arthritis, now much less work is physically demanding and thanks to HSE that assures most safe and healthy working conditions - and that will continue.

MaizieD Tue 08-Aug-17 23:14:48

It is only bribery, if we voted for the Conservatives as a result of it. Since I didn't and have expressed my disapproval of it on GN and elsewhere. If it was bribery, the bribe was not accepted.

You might not have done, I certainly haven't and clearly neither have a number of other Gnet posters, but the statistics tell us that the greater part of our contemporaries are conservative voters. They certainly didn't turn down the bribes...

Just a point; don't you think that things like teacher training and nursing training would count as 'tertiary education'? That would bring the percentage up a bit.

But I wasn't just thinking of tertiary education, I was thinking of free education in general (after the 1948 Education Act) improving people's chances of getting better jobs.

Nobody is claiming that no houses are being built, Jalima, just that demand is outstripping supply. However many 'thousands' of houses you see being built wherever you go there still aren't enough. House price inflation is a consequence.