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Weekend reading: We need to get wiser, now we’re older

Weekend reading

Good reading from around the Web.

Here’s why 50-somethings need to stop bemoaning that politicians are trying to steal money owed to them by raising the pension age.

From Business Insider:

"Talking about their generations..."

We’re creaking down into an unfunded hole, and we’re pulling our young down with us.

Alas, people have been lied to for years – they genuinely believe the tuppence ha’penny they paid in National Insurance for 30 years has been set aside to underwrite 20 years of golf courses and trips to Spain.

I don’t think the problem is insurmountable, but, aside from environmental degradation, there’s hardly a more urgent one for the West to confront.

First step: Abolish all notions that anyone is too old for any job, unless proven otherwise, and give the oldest workers attractive tax breaks to keep them at it.

We need to encourage more people to pay in, not take out – pronto.

From the money blogs

Mainstream money media websites

  • Murdoch: Last of the moguls – The Economist
  • US misery index at 28-year high – Bloomberg
  • Why The Economist is winning – Business Insider
  • The attractions of installing solar power – The Guardian
  • Facebook ad prices soar more than 74% – FT
  • Top one-year savings bonds from the smaller providers – FT
  • Warning sounded over strategic bond funds – FT
  • Preparing for a Greek default – FT
  • Which shares could survive an inflation hit? – Independent
  • How to save £10,000 over two years – Telegraph
  • What next for house prices? – Telegraph
  • Why I’m starting to think the left might be right – Telegraph

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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • 1 TJT July 23, 2011, 1:44 pm

    The boomers came in masses, collectively grew and spent their wealth while starting wars and destroying the environment. They lived off the assumption that both the world’s economy and it’s population would continue to grow forever. Alas, neither can grow forever.

    As you said, the problem is not insurmountable. However, it’s certainly a challenge until that same group of people either get out of power or accept that there is a problem that needs to be solved.

  • 2 Growing My Own July 23, 2011, 1:52 pm

    ‘First step: Abolish all notions that anyone is too old for any job, unless proven otherwise, and give the oldest workers attractive tax breaks to keep them at it.’

    Good idea and it does beg the question that if older workers stay in their jobs longer, where are the younger ones going to work?

    Growing My Own

  • 3 OldPro July 24, 2011, 10:12 am

    Or move to Belize or Singapore… or one of the countries that are capital hungry and resource rich… including eager young workers as a resource! They need our money and (flattering himself) experience… we need old age security.

  • 4 Lemondy July 24, 2011, 9:57 pm

    Nice graph (as in horrible, scary graph).

    Growing My Own, that argument is called the “lump of labour fallacy”; it is wrong because the size of the economy is not fixed; allowing people to work longer should grow the size of the economy.

    It is as simple as TI says; people in retirement are drawing on (“taking out”) the productivity of others (who “pay in”). We need more productive people, so forcing productive people to retire is bad.

  • 5 Bret @ Hope to Prosper July 24, 2011, 10:41 pm

    The retirement age definitely hasn’t kept pace with the average life expectancy. And, people in developed countries are definitely having fewer children. From these two simple facts, it’s obvious the retirement age has to be steadily increased. This won’t be politically popular. But, it’s much better to deal with the facts than to act like they don’t exist.

  • 6 EdSwippet July 25, 2011, 10:52 pm

    “Alas, people have been lied to for years – they genuinely believe the tuppence ha’penny they paid in National Insurance for 30 years has been set aside to underwrite 20 years of golf courses and trips to Spain.”

    I see what you’re saying, but I think the way you say it makes the lies seems smaller than they really are. It wasn’t tuppence ha’penny, but actually a pretty sizeable sum. And it was expected to pay for basic food, clothing and shelter, not 20 years of luxurious retirement.

    Oh no, the lies of successive governments on National Insurance are not teeny tiny little fibs. They’re whoppers. And we should not let politicians off the hook that easily. Yes, we have to deal with reality as it is, not as we’d like it to be. But that doesn’t mean we can’t also be angry about how we got here in the first place.

  • 7 The Investor July 26, 2011, 12:22 am

    @Bret – Very true. The long term is something democracies find particularly onerous… usually for the best (no 10-year plans or final solutions!) but sometimes rather stickily.

    @Lemondy – Nice to see you as ever. Sorry for the fright. 😉

    @OldPro – I always suspected you were the unacceptable (or acceptably avuncular!) face of international capital. 😉

  • 8 Growing My Own July 26, 2011, 6:56 pm

    Hello Lemondy

    I see what you are saying and think I need to clarify:- I’m a primary school teacher and I can not see myself doing the job I do now when I am 65 but I CAN see myself working. Just not as a teacher.

    I think in time to come, people will find a range of ‘retirement incomes’ that are not so obvious now – we see it now with the ‘Meeters and Greeters’ at Asda and the older fellows that show people round houses on behalf of estate agents. I believe this partly because people may need the extra money but also for the enrichment it brings.

    Retirement age these days does not mean you are on a 5 year countdown to meet your maker. Boredom has to set in eventually – I mean there must only be so many hours one can spend gardening, holidaying, socialising before one needs to be ‘purposeful’ in some way.

    Plus it would kill my spouse having me at home all day. The six weeks holiday is a struggle as it is. 😉

    Growing My Own

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