I don’t know why 0843 724 2036 tried to call me today. Or rather, I know why they called. I just don’t know why they called me.
It seems they wanted to talk about pensions. Or at least the robot at the other end of the line wanted me to register my interest in talking about pensions.
I don’t have a pension. I am unlikely to have a pension any time soon because living in the moment is hard enough; planning to live in the future is a luxury I can’t afford.
I am also unlikely to be able to retire before I die as the government keeps moving the goalposts as they’ve realised there’s not enough cash in the pot. (If the government can’t afford strategic planning of future spending without thinking ‘oh fuck!’ on a national level, how am I meant to do it on a personal level?)
But these aren’t the reason I’m sad. I’m sad because I’m 40. And because I’m 40 marketing people think that’s tantamount to being on the last stretch towards the grave.
I’m sad because you’re talking about pensions whilst I’ve still got my student debt to pay off. But actually I’m more likely to have it written off…because I’m getting old rather than getting on.
I’m sad because I suspect they wanted to talk to me about the alternatives to having a standard pension and somehow paying it to them for embezzlement purposes when – if! – my time for that ever comes. Aren’t there plenty of baby boomers out there that they could be discussing this with? I’m not there yet, buddy.
I’m sad because I don’t get targeted for sexy things any more, like free entry to clubs or trial gym passes or discounts on fast fashion. No, now I get offers for funeral plans and catalogues featuring a lot of linen slacks. In beige. With elasticated waist for comfort. I’ve even started to think they look like a practical option. (Ok, I’ll admit I actually own a pair of dark beige slacks – with an elasticated waist – and I love them. My only saving grace is that I didn’t get them from a catalogue.)
I’m 40. The average life expectancy for a woman born in the UK in 1975 is 75.9. So why am I being written off? Pushed towards the grave, even though Sunday supplement magazines keep trying to tell me that the grey pound is the new pink one? Apparently you can still think ‘hip’ without automatically following it with ‘op’ but it really doesn’t feel like it. I know the years are flying by – the twins are half my age and are adults! They’re now the age my head thinks I am before reality kicks in in the morning – but still, hopefully, I’ve got a while to go yet.
I won’t even be entitled to a state pension until I’m 67. So I have 27 years to figure out how to pay for the last 8.9 years of my life.
Except…OH MY CHRIST! Theres only 27 years until I can retire! I got my first job at 14. That was 26 years ago!!! But that feels like yesterday!!! *Starts to hyperventilate*
And what with banks and investment types being the biggest rip-off merchants since insurers and politicians I’m guessing 27 years of squirrelling isn’t going to get me much. But then maybe it’s best if I just assume a life of working until the grave. Who wants retirement anyway? After 4 kids I’ve had my share of daytime TV and sitting in rooms where half the people in it are peeing themselves. Do I really want to end my days back in that situation when instead surely technology will have advanced so that arthritic fingers can still tap figures into a computer? Besides I’m rubbish at gardening/knitting/casual racism. Sod a pension. I think instead I’m better off working out a retirement escape plan!
0843 724 2036 can assume I won’t be calling them back. I’m too busy rocking in the corner weeping to myself.