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Pensioners now better of than working families - is this right?

(413 Posts)
TeaCake5 Mon 13-Feb-17 09:30:10

www.theguardian.com/money/2017/feb/13/pensioners-now-20-a-week-better-off-than-working-households

What do you think? I think that this is going to cause more resentment in the medium term.

roarityroar Mon 13-Feb-17 09:33:41

It may cause resentment but most pensioners have worked all of their lives until retirement, so it shouldn't.

I bet you'll get a lot of "the evil Tories won't change it because pensioners vote for them" on here.

treaclesoda Mon 13-Feb-17 09:35:09

I know there are a lot of poor pensioners but there are a lot of wealthy ones too. My parents are in their 80s and considerably more comfortable financially than DH and I are. They were of an age where their private pensions paid huge returns, in fact my father said if they had known how good a return they would get he would have invested double the amout he did. My father did a solidly working class job but earned good money doing it. Whereas my DH and I are both graduates, DH works in a professional job where his qualifications are essential, but it doesn't pay as well as what my father earned in his working life. Things are just so different these days that it is like comparing apples and oranges.

birdladyfromhomealone Mon 13-Feb-17 09:35:23

Why shouldnt they reap the benefits of their hard working life. Most have probably grafted for 50 years without tax credits and housing benefit handed to them on a plate!
They were the generation that worked hard, saved hard and HP was an unknown.
If they wanted something they worked and saved for it , there was no HP or instant gratification like today.

treaclesoda Mon 13-Feb-17 09:36:08

And I don't begrudge wealthy pensioners at all. It isn't their fault that the economy worked in their favour, any more than it is my generations fault that the economy hasn't worked in our favour.

MalletsMallets Mon 13-Feb-17 09:37:50

God yes, it is completely apparent where i live.
Not so much the 80+ pensioners, but the 60+.
I am also aware that my "retirement" (it won't be retirement like we have now, it will be a physical inability to work) won't be as fortunate.

It really seems to be a cost of housing.
In my area the 80+ are in social housing, have been all their lives. The 60+ are home owners.

We are private renters and i really don't know how we will afford housing in our old age.

MalletsMallets Mon 13-Feb-17 09:39:28

bird they did have HP. There used to be the man who came weekly to collect.
You could get everything for your home on HP and some people did.

Ineedsomewheretocry Mon 13-Feb-17 09:40:44

The current batch in their 60s will be the richest pensioners there have ever been and will ever be.most of my parent friends have huge incomes and low overheads. It will cause trouble if people enmass wake up to it IMO.

boredwithabrokenfinger Mon 13-Feb-17 09:41:36

Good for them. My Dad left school at 17 and got up every day and did a 9 to 5 white collar job. He retired in his mid 50s with a decent company pension and mortgage paid off. My Mum left school at 15 with no qualifications and worked part-time for pretty much minimum wage for most of her life. Dad is dead now but my Mum is much better off now than we will ever be.

DH and I are graduates and work our socks off. Not sure I will ever retire at this rate!

Andrewofgg Mon 13-Feb-17 09:42:45

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.

So some pensioners have done well and some working-age people less well. That does not add up to the generalised statement that "pensioners are better off than working people". Anyway OP what do you want to do about it? Confiscate the pensions they paid for?

Perfectlypurple Mon 13-Feb-17 09:43:19

My mum and dad are pensioners and although not wealthy they are comfortable. They can afford holidays, new cars etc. However when we were growing up we were poor. We didn't have holidays, our car was always an old banger that broke down, they couldn't afford to send us on school trips. They scrimped and saved, not getting into debt for most of their lives. Now they are doing ok. I for one don't begrudge them or anyone like them their money.

DrivingMeBonkers Mon 13-Feb-17 09:44:00

They are the most selfish and affluent generation created. Gold plated pensions, reaped the benefits of council houses sold off at a pittance, early retirement at 50 on final salary schemes. I have very little empathy for 'poor' pensioners. For the very few who didn't take advice and invest in a private pension, they also lived through economic boom times, I remember back in the 80's when tradesmen were earning 5 grand a week.

So if you are rattling around in a large house because your family has left home - downsize to a maisonette or flat that is easier for you to maintain and cheaper for you to heat.

If you are still in social housing, then HB is paying that for you.

www.ageuk.org.uk/money-matters/claiming-benefits/

PortiaCastis Mon 13-Feb-17 09:46:36

Don't forget pensioners still pay tax and the state pension is included in the tax allowance.

peggyundercrackers Mon 13-Feb-17 09:47:43

i dont begrudge these people a penny. most people of retirement age worked in places like the mills or done manual jobs, they went to war and those that didn't lived through it. they didn't have all the mod cons that todays generation had to make life easy. a basic govt. pensions is something like 155 a week, its hardly a fortune in the big scheme of things. the pension isn't benefits either - they have paid all their lives into the pension schemes when they were working.

user128057 Mon 13-Feb-17 09:48:18

I don't think pensioners are better off than families. At least not where I live. I think they should be though.

museumum Mon 13-Feb-17 09:49:21

As far as I can tell from the article some pensioners (those still working) are better off than some working families.
But some pensioners are also really poor.
Yes well, no surprise there really.

I imagine that there will be a time when I become eligible for my pension, but still work, ds has finished uni and we will have paid of our mortgage. At that point we may be quite well off.... however twenty years of dementia care later we would be less than penniless.

Andrewofgg Mon 13-Feb-17 09:49:41

So if you are rattling around in a large house because your family has left home - downsize to a maisonette or flat that is easier for you to maintain and cheaper for you to heat.

That's right - it does not matter if you lose all your connections and end up far from your friends, does it? DrivingMeBonkers You seem to have been short-changed in the empathy department all round, not just with pensioners, rich or poor.

AnneTwacky Mon 13-Feb-17 09:50:52

I don't begrudge anyone anything.

Hoewever, I don't like the 'they worked hard for it' argument.

I mean, I know they did but the cost of living was lower as a percentage of wages, making it easier for parents to choose to stay at home. Homes were more affordable making it easier to buy a home and many workplace pensions offered a final salary scheme.

The working population today is working just as hard but without those benefits and facing the prospect of the retirement age being raised to 70.

This is why I think the 'worked hard' argument just causes more resentment. It makes it seem younger generations do not work hard, and that's just not true.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Mon 13-Feb-17 09:51:31

They went to war? Er, no, most of today's pensioners will have been very young during the war or born after it.

Medeci Mon 13-Feb-17 09:52:38

No resentment from me, I don't want older people to have to worry about not having enough money for heating, food etc.
Seems a bit mean spirited to want them to struggle.
OP would you prefer it if pensioners were worse off?

meditrina Mon 13-Feb-17 09:53:05

The comparative wealth of pensioners will be just a blip.

Which is comfort neither for the estimated 20% of pensioners who receive the state pension only , nor for those who earn less than the richer pensioner income levels.

DrivingMeBonkers Mon 13-Feb-17 09:54:01

Andrewofgg really? So you would choose to freeze, starve and moan about your miserable existence rather than free up some of your assets and live a happier existence. I love the smell of burning martyr on an early morning breeze. Please do read in context rather than picking out one little line.

ghostyslovesheets Mon 13-Feb-17 09:54:52

A lot of them will be working - I won't retire till 68 at the earliest

So it's not just pensions making them 'rich' they are simply earning money with no mortgage and no kids!

treaclesoda Mon 13-Feb-17 09:55:43

I think headlines like this are a bit nonsensical and sensationalist (what a surprise!). Not all working families are stuggling, although many are. Not all pensioners are wealthy, although many are.

But the media love nothing better these days than stirring up a bit of resentment against any group who are perceived to be 'getting things easier'.

Also, there are very few of today's pensioners who fought in the war etc. My parents are into their 80s and have outlived many of their friends and relatives, but they weren't even teenagers when the war ended.

PortiaCastis Mon 13-Feb-17 09:55:47

Where are all these empty maisonettes ??

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