Sounds good to me. But then I thought I’d retire at about 55 and buy a cheap property in Portugal. Didn’t work out for me and I suspect it doesn’t work out for lots of people despite what Baroness Altmann the former pensions minister and tsar for elderly workers (until this year) might have believed.
She was worried that too many baby boomers are retiring too early and depriving the economy of their input.
She wanted to encourage more people to stay on in work and “not write themselves off”.
I’m not sure that all of them are doing that. If you’ve been made redundant in your 50s it’s tough to get a job but even those who’ve retired by choice are probably looking after the grandchildren thus allowing their kids to work and contribute to the economy (at no cost to the government for childminding) or even looking after their aged parents.
And many people who’ve retired are involved in voluntary and charity work – unpaid work for the good of the community. Another type of economic activity.
Now the minister knew that was the case so why moan about it instead of helping? She admitted “we as a society have done marvellous things for those who need to care for children but the bigger issue is now caring for older people” i.e. so that people can work longer!
There are now 900,000 more older workers (50-64) than in 2010. Women’s state pension age goes up to 65, the same as men – and why not women live longer anyway, and today an average 65-year old can expect to live another twenty years or so.
Professor Rudi Westendorp, a professor of old-age medicine at Copenhagen University, thinks we should be happy about these changes. He says you should just compare yourself with how your grandparents looked at your age and you will think they look really old. He says “we’re actually much healthier but think we are ill because modern medicine means we get diagnosed earlier and have preventative operations”.
Because of this people like Angus Hanton, co-founder of the think tank Intergenerational Forum were getting hot under the collar and agreed with Altmann that baby boomers should work longer. “It’s part of a wider scandal where millions of baby boomers have stopped working too early and have been given unaffordable pensions creating a packhorse generation of the younger”
Two years ago I posted elsewhere on the subject of baby boomers saying stop apologising after tiring of hearing people like Jeremy Paxman apologising. We’ve lived through tougher times than any of our kids have experienced. And if you want to read what the older generation think of the Intergenerational forum’s views click here
Baby Boomers have made massive investments in the economy over the years and deserve their retirement (and their pension should be a right not a taxable benefit). We have one of the worst state pensions in Europe and the government wants to delay us enjoying even that.