Yesterday I wrote about how 40% of those who could claim pensions credit don’t. Today I’m writing about Nigel and Sheila, my boating friends who have a related problem. Nigel is 75 in a fortnight, has been deferring his defined benefit pension but has been told that whether he likes it or not, he gets his pension from his 75th birthday.
A little bit about Nigel (and his remarkable wife Sheila). Nigel is curator of wood for the Victoria and Albert Museum, he is still working and Sheila tells me that when he gets home after a full day, his first thought is to walk the dog and second to mow the lawn. Nigel is a remarkably fit man despite having been ravaged by cancer earlier in what most of us would call his later years.
Nigel and Sheila have a large family with whom they share their boat, they are never without a smile on their face (even when Sheila had a boating accident and broke bones she never moaned).
It’s an overworked phrase. Nigel and Sheila have it and they people who spend time with them – see it rub off on them.
I don’t know how to advise Nigel regarding his pension. I am quite sure that he sees this influx of unnecessary money as a nuisance but I’ve tried to convince him that there will come a time when even he will look for a wage in retirement.
He doesn’t seem to comprehend the idea of stopping work, explaining to me that that would be like a death sentence.
Let’s celebrate getting older
In a week when the prospect of getting older looked a little dim, Nigel and Sheila are my role models and mentors!
I think we can look up to older people in this way (there is less than 20 years between us but it seems like a generation).
Nigel was born at the end of the war, he is a child of that post-war austerity (like another friend Bernie Rhodes). The resilience of that generation is something I’d like to inherit.
Let’s celebrate getting older and learn to love the older life – however young we are!