“Hello, is this Mr. Havik?”
“I am calling you on behalf of the pension fund. Have you thought through your pension yet?”
“No I haven’t”
“Do you mind if we ask you some questions about it?”
“I’m sorry, miss, but I don’t believe in pension funds.”
She was irritated and astonished when she hung up.
I have talked this topic through with several friends of my age. It am not the only one who doesn’t believe in pensions anymore. We are the live-for-the-moment generation. Raised in a world possibilities, we have been taught that all that matters is that we do what we like.
If you, reader, are above fifty and have worked hard all your life to collect a stash for a lean-back old age, I’m sorry to inform you that I believe your final years may become harder than you expect. To put it simply: the system of the pension is based on investments in companies that grow. In a shrinking society, withdrawing money from the current situation equals removing it from businesses that need them. You will consume the wealth you created. But as lifestyles have expanded, you will consume it too quickly.
But let me ask you: why have you cast your money into the future in the first place? Did you really think that would keep you safe? Or was it an excuse to stop wondering about the things you could do to keep the earth from turning into a barren ball in space?
The older generations will need their cash, so it should be paid. The wave of prosperity they surf will take its toll for as long as life standards remain high. Meanwhile, the younger generation has seen MTV grow from a creative collective into a mass of shiny show-offs. We’ve seen banks pop and now we witness how we run out of oil. We are learning what our preceding generations have forgotten: you don’t protect your future by saving money. You do it by opening up to the world as it is. It is not in the future but in the cycles of the seasons, where our safety should be sought.
We, the young ones, will have to take over the weight that our parents lifted. We’ll have to place it down gently, hoping our backs will not break. I think we’ll see the day in which value is expressed in food and love again. The young generation will have to show the world what self-sufficiency really means. Please, aged reader, help us with that, even while you are retired.