At one moment, as I sneakily followed the autumn statement on twitter (while supposed to be doing strategy), I heard the Chancellor remark
Over the next five years the Government will spend £250m to pay for pothole repairs
This has subsequently been corroborated by my favoured auto-website. Like many people I suffer from behavioural bias’. These cause me to hear what I want to hear and ignore what is actually being said. Pothole to me means something different than to other people.
Let me explain…
I have been thinking much of late of the Wise Men of Chelm. They are a loopy bunch of old men created by Isaac Bashevis Singer. They were confronted with a terrible problem. The mountain road to get to the village of Chelm developed a pothole, which grew and grew, causing ever more dreadful accidents. The solution. Build a hospital right next to the hole.
I was distracted. I had come to think of that pothole as the cause of all the bad things that might happen to people’s money – if they take bad choices at retirement.
I actually thought that the Chancellor intended to devote some money to sorting out the pension problems that will cause “capital deprivation” for many of us in later life. I thought I heard George Osbourne say he stop our pension pots falling into potholes, so that pots followed members to their death.
But it looks like the potholes are still with us. And it is potholes that will be all that many elderly people will have to look at as they draw to the ends of their lives- potholes filled with muddy water. For the potholes of late retirement are not paved with gold and our pension pots are smashed up by the road conditions.
In an earnest fit – brought on by my fantastical vision of potholes , I contacted Britain’s leading pension-pot experts for clarification.
How many potholes does it take to fill the Albert Hall?