RETIREMENT PENSIONS - PENSION RELEASE, EARLY RETIREMENT
Retirement pensions - pension release, is the thought of retiring on a low income a worry or are you looking forward to retirement
Retirement is something few of us give a second thought to when we are young and then suddenly looms on the horizon when it is too late to do something about. Let's face it; the thought of becoming an old age pensioner on a limited income is not how any of us envisage ourselves when we start out to make our fortunes.
When I started work at the age of fifteen, taking out a pension was the furthest thing from my mind. Now that I am approaching sixty, the thought of retirement is still something I don't want to think about or consider. In fact I find the very idea of retiring quite abhorrent.
If truth be told, I could afford to retire right now but what would I do? Go fishing? Take up stamp collecting or golf? Or just sit and watch TV all day long and fester? I have seen what retirement does to some people and frankly I don't fancy the idea one bit.
My father in law retired at the age of fifty-five. He hated his job and couldn't wait to put his feet up. Why he did a job he hated for so long and why he didn't just change career direction beats me. At fifty five he was old before his time. Not physically but mentally and he epitomised the idea of a middle aged man - carpet slippers, pipe and cardigan.
That was twenty three years ago; the same age as I am now and he disappeared up the garden to his potting shed where he has been tinkering and farting about for more than two decades. Twenty three years of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile and no real purpose to his life.
Over the past twenty or so years I have seen his mental state deteriorate. We never had much in common but unless I am prepared to have a discussion about "Coronation Street" or "Ready Steady Cook" neither of which I have the slightest intention of doing; his mind is a complete void. Save that is, information that he has believed because he read it in his tabloid newspaper. It would appear that he has no capacity to actually take information on board and come up with an opinion of his own.
The sad thing is that he was a reasonably intelligent and capable man who now believes that retiring at fifty five was a life time achievement. Yet he could have done so much more with the final third of his life than just wasting his time. May be I am wrong; but at fifty five years of age, I still want to achieve things; I still have ambitions and still want to do a job and follow my business interests to the full.
I suppose the first time I realised the rot was setting in was less than twelve months after he had retired. He and his wife had upped sticks and moved to Wales and My wife and I had gone to visit them in their new home. We were sitting in the lounge having tea and as we were talking we could here short staccato conversations coming from his desk. When I enquired what it was, he proudly produced a short wave radio that he used to listen to the pilots talking to air traffic control as they came into land at Cardiff airport.
My mother in law remarked how he loved listening to the pilots and ground controllers talking. It was one of those embarrassing foot in mouth situations I often have when I speak when confounded because I simply asked "Why?" They both looked at me and opened their mouths and said nothing because there wasn't an intelligent response to my simple question. The answer should have been "Because I have got absolutely nothing else to do and I am as bored as shit and I have got another thirty years of boredom in front of me."
It wasn't just his lack of having anything of real interest in his life he hadn't done any real
pension planning either.