0843 724 2036 and the Midlife Crisis

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.


12 thoughts on “0843 724 2036 and the Midlife Crisis”

  1. Ha! Are you sure you didn’t mishear and he actually said “do you have tension?” Try turning 50 and see what they sell ya. And I can’t think “hip” without remembering “a moment of the lips, forever on the hips.” Anyhow, call back Mr Telemarketer and sell him phone etiquette lessons.

    1. I definitely have tension!!! I am quite tempted to request a callback though. A) because I bet it never happens and B) because I’m sure there’s some fun to be had with a script-controlled telemarketer.
      As for the hips, I can blame them on my genes, rather than my jeans. Havel Hips, we call them. The bonus is that they come with plenty of padding in anticipation of old-age falls.

  2. I’ve got the knitting down, but the gardening and casual racism will stump me, too. I wasn’t able to start a retirement account until about 6 years ago, so I can probably retire about three years after I die. Maybe we could join forces, share a flat, and lure gorgeous young men into taking care of us in our elasticized trousers.

  3. I have a pension with my job, I wasn’t that bothered about it but my grandfather insisted I do it. His pension he saved while he was working has been cut now, dont get me started!! So whatever you do save gets taken away anyway by the looks of it. Better off doing it yourself!

    1. You’re not wrong. So many people have been stitched up by the investments they made in good faith with their pensions – there are no words. And that’s before factoring in the government who will work out ways to fuck people over as soon as they smell a penny on them. It scares me that they’re changing the way people can have their pensions paid. What happens if you choose to take the lump sum but then something happens? Are we going to have old people work houses? Like the most horrendous of care homes, but with added slave labour? I think I’m better off just working.

  4. “I’m rubbish at gardening/knitting/casual racism…” These are the stereotypes of the elderly right now, personally, I think you are going to set a new standard when it’s your turn to be old (and you have a whole lot longer than me before you’re old!). I think you’ll probably be cranking out posts on here being the gluestick of your care home or gluestick for the daughter-in-law you choose to move in with. I think you’re going to do this up even better than it’s ever been done before! Fear not though that this is coming to you soon…..we should know just by the strange mistakes of predictive text and the like that robots haven’t quite got it all going on yet…

      1. Hah! Yes, you could probably do that very well now with your new stand mixer! I also have one so perhaps we’ll have to take turns posting our professionally-mixed culinary delights!

  5. This post made me laugh, thank you for brightening my day! Oh I wasn’t laughing at you but the whole getting old situation coz I’m 10 years on from you, I turned 50 last September and in those 8 months I still haven’t figured out how I actually got to be this old ha ha. I too do not have a pension (though my husband has a couple thank god and in 4 years when he’s 55 he’s planning on cashing in a quarter of one of them so we can have some fun!) and I figure the way things are going the retirement age will have been upped to at least 70 by the time we get there. As depressing as the thought of being 70 is I am determined to get there and way way beyond and I’m doing everything in my power to ensure I do…I’ve gone all kinds of healthy food and gym freak crazy and oh my god I feel so much better for it. Plus I ignore all the ‘over-50′ shit that comes through my door and mysteriously pops up on whatever I’m looking at on t’interweb. And when those ads come on the telly I shout at it that ’50 IS NOT OLD’, I know they can’t hear me but it makes me feel better, lol! I’ve found if I look at lots of stuff online that they obviously assume over-50’s don’t look then at I get less over-50 crap popping up. Getting old is (hopefully) inevitable but I will go there kicking and screaming and I will not act, dress or look my age thank you very much. I think those of us that are 40 – 50 now are going to be very different at 70 to the generation (our parents) who are there now. It’s gonna be interesting to see don’t you think? I feel sorry for our kids having to watch us, ha ha 😉

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