… to me. Happy birthday to me… etc. etc.
Yes it is my birthday today. I’m 54. So as my darling daughter pointed out in her Facebook post to me this morning I’m indisputably into my mid fifties. Actually it is an interesting thought that at my next birthday I could officially retire. UK pension legislation allowing you to draw from an occupational or personal pension from age 55 onwards. Whether I want to retire or can afford to next year is a different story but I then will have a dilemma of whether I do or don’t. For years my plan has been to “retire” some point in my mid fifties. However all the predictions of doom and gloom for pensioners who don’t consider how much they actually need to survive for how long have made me start to reassess. Now the time is here when I could (should?) seriously sit down and think about it I’m procrastinating and putting it off. I wrote recently to my old employer with whom I have the largest chunk of my pension stating that my predicted retirement age should be adjusted to 60 from 57 to alter the profile of my investments, many invested funds have a pattern of adjusting where your money is invested as your retirement date approaches so that your fund is less exposed to market volatility just as you plan to take the pension it should fund. My current employer have just changed their scheme to encompass a similar scheme for your additional contributions and when I set my preferences for what fund to use I again put my retirement age as 60.
Why the hang up? Well…. no male antecedent of mine that I know of has ever made it to 60. My Dad got the closest when he passed away at 59 years and 10 months. This is why for much of my life I had looked to getting retirement started in my mid fifties, leaving it any later looked like it had slim chance of any realisation. However when my Dad died male life expectancy was about 74 years in the UK and the latest figures are about 81. So in 30 years a 5 year increase. Even if I accept my families predisposition to popping our clogs early if I had 5 years to my Dad’s life I look to be on target for about 65. But that is ten years away so will life expectancy have risen another ~2 years? Or is this all just me using my usual researching skills and over analytical brain to avoid making a tough decision? Hmm….
Enough of the doom and gloom about getting older though, actually getting older is a good thing since it means I’m still here to get older and luckily I continue to get older sober which is a bonus too.
So what did I get for my birthday? A bunch of blu-ray films which means the next few Saturday nights I can avoid that National Lottery nonsense, an Amazon voucher, a CD from Miloš Karadaglić and tickets to see him at a small gig this month at the Canterbury Festival. Oh yes and some Big Bends Nut Sauce well I mean all men my age need some nut sauce don’t they?