Pensions, parents, and children: Am I better off? – BBC News

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As the baby boomer generation retires, their children are planning their own provision for life after work.

According to the Resolution Foundation, growth rates in income appear to have stalled for millennials, while those now retiring are most likely to own a home and have a generous private pension.

We asked two professionals from different generations what their experiences were compared to their parents’, and what hopes they had for their children.

Peter Coleman, associate at an international transport consultancy, Essex

Image copyright Peter Coleman

I’m still working at 65, with two ‘children’ at home, one of whom is still in full-time education. I’m earning quite a lot more money than my father did at 65, but am I better off?

I’m getting a pension and a salary. Some of the pension I’m drawing down, I’d rather have left it but the rules say I have to draw it. Plus I get taxed on it.

My father retired at the age of 58 in 1980 on a full two-thirds-of-final-salary pension, with children who’d all left home.

He also owned his own house. He worked for the same company all his life. By 58 he was 40 years in with AVCs (additional voluntary contributions) on top, a situation I wasn’t in at 58.

As for my children and their friends, the cost of housing is the biggest issue. That and the fact that most of them have student loans to pay off.

My son is 25. Moving out is clearly not as important to him as it was to me at his age. He sees renting as a waste of money. I saw my independence as more important. I bought my first home when I was his age.

All the major parties have to share the blame for putting our young people in this heinous situation. But who will bear the brunt of helping them cope? It will be those ‘well-off’ pensioners.

Jez Marsh, IT consultant, Cwmbran

Image copyright Jez Marsh

As a 41-year-old homeowner, husband, and father of two beautiful daughters, I am concerned about my fiscal future.

Whilst I am able to afford a traditional repayment mortgage, which will mean the mortgage is paid off by the time I’m 65, I expect I will never be able to retire. I’m expecting to work until I can’t.

As an IT consultant, I haven’t had constant, permanent employment in any sense.

I currently do not have a pension, having taken the plunge from employed status to starting my own business two years ago. I fully intend to start one and pay large chunks into it, but the short-term priorities, ensuring my family home is ready for the future, has to come first.

Time is the ultimate enemy. We simply work far too many hours, and it’s the same for all professionals.

My wife’s parents both retired at 55. Both had fantastic public sector pensions, and their mortgage was paid off before they retired. They are able to do what they want to do when they want to do it, and I couldn’t be more pleased with them.

Their income is far less than my own. They just have a lot more available income than I do.

Pensioners today bought their houses when they were relatively low. House prices are crippling the pensionable income for most people, and almost everyone will be looking to sell their home at retirement in order to fund said retirement!

I’m hoping my daughters’ generation will have the benefit of our experiences, and their grandparents are helping. I hope they’ll be better off, but potentially we won’t have as much to pass on to them.

Interviewed and written by the BBC News UGC team

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