Friday, 6 July 2012

What do I want when I'm old?

So, I’ve been thinking about pensions.

Not my own, especially, but the generic problem of pensions, and what they are and how they work and what we might do about them.
 And I’ve been thinking about two things in particular:

firstly, that the basic thinking underpinning a pension is that at some point in the future I shall want a supply of money to buy the things I shall at that future point want, and so I need to save some money in a suitable vehicle so that the money is available when I want it.

second, that all the money that gets saved in pursuit of said ends, in the form of ‘pension funds’, constitutes a very signficant fraction of the money that these City boys and girls get to play with and from which they skim their obscene salaries and bonuses. (“Skim” is an interesting euphemism: points to the fact that the faster they can make it spin about, the more froth there is from which they can purloin their ‘earnings’.)

Which leads to a counter-thought:

Is there a way I could de-monetise this? I could reduce my risk (have you any idea how much your pension will be worth? Have you any idea how much a fucking annuity will cost you?) and I could reduce the amount of money available for these criminals to play with.

How about:

I want to invest in some sort of community bond, a community owned, non-tradeable asset, which guarantees me not a supply of money but of something else I’m pretty sure I’ll need: care. I want to buy a care bond. I want to pay xxx pounds per year, cash which will be available to my/a community now, in return for the promise (and what is ‘money’, if not a promise?) that I shall receive yyy hours of care, per year, in perpetuity, once I pass a certain age.

Pros and cons?

No comments: