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to agree It is pensioners, rather than the rich, who are growing richer.

(126 Posts)
marryj Sun 07-Dec-14 20:04:03

From someone at institute of fiscal studies -

From what I see, each year there is a widening generation inequality. Many studies have shown since the coalition came in the young are far worse of but pensioners have never been richer.

The generation with the highest income is now pensioners, despite them having significantly less outgoings as no young children to raise and for most they have paid off their mortgage. Things are very bleak in the job market with graduates with 30k+ of debt taking nmw jobs and only 20% are likely to get out of nmw after 10 years.

Greengrow Sun 07-Dec-14 20:10:09

There has been a big shift in that direction although a lot of pensioners don't own a property and are on an old age pension of about £118 a week. Those who do have spare money tend to help their children.

ladeedad Sun 07-Dec-14 20:13:45

Student debt? That argument is invalid. The loans only start being repaid once the "debtee" is earning over 25k.

PortofinoVino Sun 07-Dec-14 20:19:25

Ha ha ha. You try working for 20 years, and being a Carer for the next 25, and find your pension is the princely sum of £150 a week.......and you're still paying a mortgage and have no savings. THEN you tell me pensioners are rich !!

WooWooOwl Sun 07-Dec-14 20:21:21

If pensioners are doing better than ever before, then that's a good thing. Pensioner poverty used to be a huge problem, and while it still exists it's thankfully not as bad as it used to be.

Do we really need another thread moaning about pensioners? I find it bizarre how much animosity there seems to be on MN against such a vulnerable group of people who are likely to not be in the best of health and have no power to earn money.

rembrandtsrockchick Sun 07-Dec-14 20:26:33

Pensioners getting rich, hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Your sincerely
A Pensioner

Lifesalemon Sun 07-Dec-14 20:40:21

I think pensioners are generally better off now then they used to be. None of my grandparents generation owned their own house or even a car but most of my parents generation that I know own both and are by now mortgage free and have savings too.
Not sure about future generations though as it seems to be really hard for the younger generation to get on the property ladder at the moment and renting seems to be a lot of people's only option again so maybe things are set to go full circle with the futures pensioners renting houses or still paying mortgages into their seventies and not having a huge amount of savings either as a result.

Taz1212 Sun 07-Dec-14 20:40:41

I disagree. Rich pensioners might be getting richer, but overall I'd be willing to bet that the rich are getting richer than the average pensioner is.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 07-Dec-14 20:43:39

My mum is a pensioner and is loaded.

Well a little bit cash rich due to frugality being ingrained into her all her life, not knowing how to spend money purely for pleasure, being housebound and not able to spend the SERPS pension my late dad earned through 50 years of hard graft + her DLA.

From the age of 15 they did their hard graft, national service, in working conditions most of us wouldn't accept now with no choice of further education, no holidays abroad, no car, feeding 5 kids (including me!) lunch with one tin of soup (guess it made the weekly shop carried home on the bus for 7 mouths lighter!). They have more than earned their pensions.

Taz1212 Sun 07-Dec-14 20:43:58

You can't really measure wealth by income anyway. There are plenty rich people who don't take a particularly large income but have significant assets which will be growing at a decent rate right now. Most pensioners will have a fixed (or increasing by RPI etc) income but not have the additional growing assets in the background.

handcream Sun 07-Dec-14 20:48:42

Around here they tend to live in big houses and only use a couple of rooms. They don't want to/not capable of moving. We also have to remember that especially women in their 60's and 70's often didn't work, they relied on the man to bring in the wages, or they had a part time role.

Fwiw my DM did work her whole life but certainly her pensioner friends didn't, they complain about the state pension not realising that someone else is paying for it, and the winter fuel allowance, and their bus passes etc

ethelb Sun 07-Dec-14 21:53:28

I don't like the us v them attitude personally (I'm 27) and really think the argument is betweenthe 1% and the 99%.

However, looking at my grandparents you could state that they had less opportunity for further and higher education, women had less opportunity to work and therefore I have it better.

On the other hand, my grandfather left school at 18 (he was from a family that couldn't afford the school uniform so had to wear a cape to school but he did a-levels) got a job at an advertising firm straight out and eventually was able to earn enough to put two of his sons through private school, own a house in his 20s and had a stay at home wife. He owned a yacht and my mother had a horse when she was a teenager.
My granny now lives in a house worth over £1m, drives around in a landrover and stopped work in her late 20s.
They had 3 children, starting at 25.

That would simply not be possible now for the following reasons
1) You have to have an expensive higher education to have a 'proper' job (I am a journo and have an RG degree and RG pg diploma which is realistically what is needed. I earn the same amount people used to earn on trainee schemes without this level of education. There were three trainee places on national newspapers when I graduated.)
2) His job was more or less for life. My DP (same industry) has had a series of zero hours or temp contracts. He is good at his job and has a great CV. The BBC is now mainly offering temp contracts at our level ie 5+years experience
3) Housing is not affordable. I grew up in a house my parents bought for £110,000 that needed doing up. The basement flat, what was our kitchen, now sells for about £330,000. I think the whole house is worth upwards of £1.2m I couldn't buy it.
4) You need a duel salary to live just about anywhere.
5) We can't afford to both work, have children, pay childcare and live in a house big enough for children. There is no give in our situation.

I am sick of people claiming they 'did it themselves'. Example: friend of mine's parents left school at 16 to go to college (which I think doesn't really count as leaving school) and did courses in business and catering. They lived with parents until they were 21 and then bought.
I don't think they did it themselves. They had access to free education/training call it what you will that led to jobs that paid them enough money to buy a house at 21. And they have had jobs all their working lives. The economy was in their favour. No they didn't go to uni, but the same level of education would be a £9K a year now. People who claim to have gone to the 'university of life' must realise that surely?

My FIL walked into a job at 17 that he kept until he retired in his 50s mortgage free and with a final salary pension. Yes he worked hard but even he realises that the same amount of work would simply not pay off in the same way now.

I think a problem is that the notion of privilege and wealth is different in different generations. My grandparents had affordable utility and unaffordable luxury. I have affordable luxury (iphone, some cheapo holidays etc) but unaffordable utility (out rent has frequently been over 50% of our duel professional take home pay).

My grandparents found food waste sickening but don't think twice about rattling round a massive house they under occupy. I think obviously waste is to be avoided but the lack of housing for young people and families today is disgusting and while there is no easy answer, I am often shocked at how littl under occupation is criticised.

Even the lefty, liberal pensioners I know aren't planning on vacating their mansions or selling them at any less than the most they can get any time soon.

I know that they didn't ask for their house prices to rise as they did, but even though they didn't choose the situation (and may well have preferred to invest in things other than housing), they are undoubtedly part of the problem.

Tron123 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:07:38

Data suggests that pensioners are more wealthy on average, they certainly are the group with a higher disposable income, however there will be some less well off pensioners who are struggling to make ends meet. The pensioners of today will be younger and are likley to have a more healthier retirement as they could retire earlier than those in 10, 20 and 30 years time so in many ways they are so much better off.

MistressDeeCee Sun 07-Dec-14 22:11:56

I don't care if pensioners are getting richer. They've worked, paid their taxes and dues. Watching them and their income isn't going to put any more money in my pocket

ethelb Sun 07-Dec-14 22:15:23

MistressDeeCee actually as a lot of their income comes from a rigged housing market (low rates, lack of building etc) then 'watching them and their income' and questioning the moral and economic validity of it, could, if changed, put more money in my pocket.

But admittedly that isn't a realistic option as the current status quo is a number of political parties who won't question the grey army, despite the long term implications on the economy.

mumonashoestring Sun 07-Dec-14 22:22:34

They're the same as any other socio-economic group - some are getting wealthier because their situation just happens to fit well with the way the housing market, pension scheme investments and benefits system work at the moment; some are barely scraping an existence, terrified to turn the heating on when it's freezing outside and living on shitty instant meals because they're cheaper to buy or cook. The PP who said looking at income alone is skewed is correct - with the higher incomes they would have had in the 70s and 80s many of today's pensioners got themselves into debt which their parents' generation would never have dreamed of - people tend to live according to what they can get away with rather than within their means whatever their age.

I usually get suspicious when reports like this come out - it often seems to be a way of cutting social support for a section of society just before the rug is pulled from under them in terms of benefit entitlements, pension values, security of equity etc.

Toooldtobearsed Sun 07-Dec-14 22:23:26

Another bash the pensioner/baby boomer/anyone who dares to have gotten to pension age and not voluntarily euthanised for the benefit of the young thread?

there is outrage when an OP has a go at benefit recipients, but several threads jumping on the bandwagon to generalise about the finances of older people.

Just like you, they vary. Just like you, some are well off and some are poor. Just like them, you too will be old one day.

zipetwhippet Sun 07-Dec-14 22:23:33

The ones existing solely on a state pension won't be. I really feel for them and their families.
However the ones who bought properties cheap and made a good profit, never got into debts or lived on credit cards and worked their asses off to afford things and build up their savings? They probably are and good luck to them. Both of our dps are wealthy pensioners- lots of holidays and social events, plenty to treat their children and g/children and generally enjoying life. So rather than worry us that they can't afford to heat the house or buy decent food, or treat themselves, we have peace the of mind that they are more than ok.

SinisterBuggyMonth Sun 07-Dec-14 22:29:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Holdthepage Sun 07-Dec-14 22:30:41

I am fascinated to know how pensioners get income from a "rigged housing market"?

BlackandGold Sun 07-Dec-14 22:33:02

For goodness sake, apply some common sense.

A lot of pensioners are certainly not rich and many are existing on little more than the State Pension; what ability do they have to go out to work and get extra money?

Others have fallen foul of various governments putting back their State Pension age quite rapidly, meaning that they now have to work for much longer at a time in their lives when they may have less stamina and tire more easily.

One day we will all be pensioners, should we live that long.

Viviennemary Sun 07-Dec-14 22:35:01

There's been a lot of talk about rich pensioners but there's also a lot of older people in poverty or having to count pennies. The better off ones do tend to help out their adult children and grandchildren. So the money does filter down.

indigo18 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:36:49

Why should an older person feel obliged to give up a home they have worked for just because it is large? It is their home; stay there and enjoy as long as you can. My parents worked very hard until way after retirement age, my mother worked as a nurse until well into her seventies. She can no longer live alone so had to sell her modest house to pay care fees; despite having had a stroke she was deemed not to qualify for a funded place. It is of great regret to her that the little bit she and my father had built up, with great pride, to leave to their family, will be eaten up in care fees.

ethelb Sun 07-Dec-14 22:38:23

Many pensioners I know have talked about selling up and downsizing with their equity (from what I feel is a rigged housing market, it certainly isn't a free market). Not that they ever actually do...
Some have managed to secure second mortgages against the value of a home they never really paid for.

I do realise not all pensioners are in this situation. But pretending its not the case that a huge amount of the country's assets are disproportionatly owned by a generation who don't actually need to use them for what they were designed for ie a home, isn't going to get us anywhere.

Sinister I agree. Plus, while I do realise I may benefit in the distant future from my parents' home value, I would far rather affordable housing now rather than the distant promise of a lump sum off a hypothetical mortgage in my 70s if my parents manage to die wealthy.

indigo18 Sun 07-Dec-14 22:39:12

And to the previous poster who claimed that most women in their 60s have never worked - well, I think that is rubbish! All my friends in their 60s have worked; many still are working.

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