Is it me, or do all children make their parents feel old? My daughter recently gave me a book entitled ‘The 100-Year Life’. I confess, this wasn’t a gift that was received gracefully (apparently I pulled that face). The truth is the title made me think of someone very old, and I didn’t like the fact that she’d applied this to me (in that ‘I thought you’d like this book’ kind of way).
I suspect that’s how the under-30s (my daughter is a case in point) feel when we talk to them about pensions!
However, once I’d got beyond the cover I had to admit that it made me think. The book challenges the traditional notion of a three-stage approach to our lives – education, work and retirement. The point it makes is that, with increasing longevity, we are going to have to re-think the choices and options we will face – the very structure of life that has been assumed for recent generations.
This resonated with me as I’d already started to think a little differently. The concept of a career break or sabbatical is not a new one, but I decided to ‘do something different’ at the end of last year. I think when I put forward a proposal for ‘KP Leave’ my boss thought I was planning on going on a course (sorry Peter!). Instead I did a bit of travelling – visiting some of the countries I’d always wanted to explore, whilst I had the time and the stamina to do so. In truth, the retirement we dream of, where we have boundless energy and bottomless pockets can’t be guaranteed, can it?
I like the idea of re-fashioning life, to create a ‘shifting balance’ between work and ‘non-work’. What we do with our time is important – increasingly important. In the social-media-driven world we live in, it’s easy to engage others with the idea of ‘rebalancing’ our lives between work and leisure. It has the potential to give everyone a new view, to recalibrate the future. Perhaps pensions are about financing life, not just retirement. Maybe there is a way to engage the under-30s in pensions after all!
Head of Client Services – UK and Australia