In my youth, I was advised by pretty well everyone with whom the topic ever came up, from my family to well-intentioned total strangers, to put as much of my income as possible into pension plans for my old age.
For various reasons, I ignored their admonitions and, apart from making the contributions required by law from self-employed persons in the UK whenever they weren't being dealt with by employers, I chose to enjoy my money while my youth and vigour was at it's peak.
When asked how I would manage in my old age, my response was that I would simply have to live within whatever means my state pension provided or, in the absence of that, starve to death - we all have to die somehow and at least I would know that I had enjoyed my life to the full on the way there.
The vast majority of those who shook their heads at my foolishness, whilst entrusting their funds to financial institutions in the belief that they would be available later, and with interest added, were sacrificing much of their pleasure in the present so that they could enjoy it at some future date.
Now, aged 55 and still enjoying the present, albeit temporarily on a constricted budget, it gives me no pleasure to see that most of those who have survived thus far are now in exactly the same position as me, in terms of the future, in the wake of the disastrous behaviour of so many of those financial institutions in which they had placed their trust.
Unfortunately, whilst I have at least enjoyed the past to the full, they don't even have those kinds of memories to enjoy. The irony is not lost on me but I dare not ask them what they think about my stubborn intransigence on the subject now.
Labels: future, institutions, investment, lost, pension