Last week, the younger members of Generation X were hit with the news we would have to work for a year longer than previously expected.
The magic number for those of us born between April 1970 and April 1978 is 68, which is the age that we will have to reach before we can be classed as pensioners. Although the initial reaction from those of us affected was one of indignant shock, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise.
We are expected to be grateful for the 20-odd year notice period that our wise leaders have granted us and we shouldn’t forget that this will save the public purse £74bn. Do you get a warm tingly sensation for playing your part in such a noble sacrifice? Me neither.
Some Baby Boomers take exception at being described as the jammiest of generations but it is, broadly speaking, true. A fair proportion have benefited from final salary pensions, a huge surge in house prices and a succession of generous Governments who have literally thrown money at the elderly and middle aged, in an attempt to appeal to those most likely to turn out on polling day.
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For years now it has been obvious to many of us that there isn’t a magic money tree, yet that didn’t stop those in power from introducing universal free travel and winter fuel allowance for pensioners, regardless of what they had in the bank. Then we have the triple lock promise on future pension increases.
What is almost certain is that none of the aforementioned perks of old age will be available to those of us who will take to our armchairs in the late 2030s. We still don’t have much of an idea about how we will tackle the ticking timebomb that is social care, wages have stagnated and any youngsters considering university face paying back at least £35,000 for years to come, making it increasingly tricky to climb the wobbly property ladder. I would suggest that the bad news about our retirements will only get worse, and I certainly won’t be setting my heart on being in a position to put my feet up at 68.