Our retirement gamble, warns top economist

We're deluding ourselves about retirement and are set for an austere life relying on family handouts.

That's the cheery prediction of a top UK economist who says people's refusal to save seriously is creating a ticking timebomb for later in life.
In a speech in Doncaster yesterday, economist Martin Weale urged Brits to take a reality check and face up the fact that their level of saving is too low and they are spending too much. He said this country had "a long history of not saving enough" and people's inaction was creating a ticking time bomb.

The leading economist, who sits on the Bank of England's interest rate-setting committee, said people were deluding themselves about the type of retirement they could expect, unless they were happy to work "much later". If nothing is doneBritons will be disappointed by the quality of their retirement, Weale warned.

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "Eventually, people and particularly old people will be disappointed by their living standards. It is quite likely that this will create pressures to transfer resources from young people to old people, reducing the consumption of the former to support the latter."

Poor savings record
Weale also said the country's saving records did not make sense if individuals wanted to enjoy a comfortable retirement, beginning at a reasonable age.

"Our saving record would have made sense only if we either planned to retire much later than most people do, or could be confident of earning the sort of returns delivered to successful investors in Doncaster's most famous horse race," he told the Doncaster Chamber of Commerce.

"It does not make sense to plan for the future on the basis of the sort of returns generated only by a successful bet on an outsider winning the St Leger."
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