Investing for Retirement: A Personal Odyssey

For most of us in full time employment, the major source of pension income will be derived from one’s Employer’s Pension Fund. Together with some additional investments in one’s personal capacity this would previously have been sufficient to derive an adequate pension. This assumption is no longer valid for a number of reasons.

The genesis of this disconnect was the introduction of Defined Contribution Pension Funds some 20 years ago. Previously most employees contributed to what was known as a Defined Benefit Pension Fund. In terms of this arrangement, the retiree would be paid a pension calculated on the basis of 2% per every year employed times by the average salary over one’s last x years of employment. For most employees, this would equate to approximately 70% of their final salary. Combined with their private savings, this would ensure a pension of at least 80 to 90%, a fairly comfortable retirement without having to agonise over one’s financial situation.
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What happens when the fatal disease called Aging is cured?

Last weeks’ Time Magazine has a series of articles on how science can retard the rate of aging and possibly even halt it completely. Of more significance to me – which was unstated – was what would the social & societal consequences of such a process be? Does this even bode well for humankind in terms of the quality of those additional years? For instance would one then be senile for fifty years instead of ten?

 Main picture: I bet that Bridgette Bardot has many regrets about her life but probably her main misgiving was about getting old and more importantly, looking decrepit. Continue reading

Should there be a Mandatory Retirement Age?

With lifespans increasing, why are productive experienced employees forced to retire at a particular age?

This question has always puzzled me. The closer that I get to retirement myself, the more absurd that a fixed retirement age becomes.

From an Employers point of view, there are possibly two reasons why this is great practice. The first relates to the fact that certain employees are “on autopilot” awaiting their retirement. This is especially prevalent in the public sector where most civil servants are already computing the number of years to retirement whilst still in their forties. Clearly this is indicative of a soul destroying working environment where lack of initiative counts for more than excellent work performance.

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