It’s not my phrase, infact it’s TPAS’ Michelle Cracknell’s phrase but I guess it applies to me.
I’m 54 and according to everything I’ve been told for the past 30 years, it should be time to retire.
I am deeply troubled by my own finances – or lack of them – and I’m scared about taking decisions about my own money -even taking the decision to employ a financial adviser.
Even though I am a cobbler, I don’t like mending my shoes. I am part of the troubled generation that knows that I should be taking decisions about my financial future, but I’m scared.
Partly it is because I am not confident about what I have. I don’t know what my defined benefit entitlements are going to be . My small DB pension is shared with an ex-wife, my state pension entitlement is diminished by years being self-employed and being contracted out when employed.
My larger DC savings pot is growing in something my employer chose for me as a default investment option but I’ve little understanding about where it is invested and whether I would be better off investing it myself.
I have some private wealth in ISAs and money tied up in listed equities and EIS schemes.
I am fairly typical of an affluent middle class bloke with liabilities to family (moral and legal) and a lifestyle I’m trying to maintain.
In short I have enough money to be worried about its management and not enough money to be comfortable about my future. I have little certainty and no trust in others. I feel on my own.
For me, the solution to the retirement problem would be to give all my money to the people who run my defined benefit pension and ask them to pay me a bit more than I would get from an annuity (for which I am far too healthy!). Of course my defined benefit scheme would rather stick needles in its eyes than take on any more risk from me.
If not my defined benefit scheme, I was hoping for a default way of spending my retirement savings to emerge, much as I have a default way of saving. Unfortunately my hopes that some friendly people would offer me access to a Collective Defined Contribution scheme fell at the first.
Retirement is far too inviting to waste on managing a drawdown policy and worrying about my money running out.
Every financial adviser I speak to explains how I should be managing my pot better and taking control, but this is the last thing i want to do. I simply want to get on with managing Pension PlayPen, doing my bit for First Actuarial , being with my family and enjoying my leisure.
I don’t think I am alone. There are millions of us in our fourties and fifties who will not enjoy the certainty of a defined benefit but who have too little to really merit the services of someone to manage our wealth.
We are a troubled generation. Apparently people like me are meat and drink to TPAS, we are the core of its customer base.
Maybe I should become a TPAS adviser so I can moan at myself!