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  • Ed Hall

A Maternal Visit - October 2010

We think we are all worried about the pensions 'time bomb' and the costs of managing an ever ageing population, but I think it's largely a middle-aged worry. The truth is that for those in their late thirties and upwards we simply haven't (most of us) made enough provision for our old age.

My mother is currently on the plane from London to Mexico City. She's 79 and despite the occasional use of a walking stick, determined to travel and explore. After a week exploring here we will head off to Guatemala for a few days. Next year we will have more problems finding travel insurance for her. She's not alone as an older traveller, and the huge growth in cruises and organised trips for older people just go to show how much we need to be planning for our travel needs in our 80s and 90s. The idea of there being 90-year old-holiday makers even twenty years ago would have seemed rather odd. Not so now.

Of course my mum grew up through a period of vast public sector investment and the extravagant pension commitments that were offered have largely been honoured. She has income from several pensions, and also has the financial benefits that go with having lived through two property booms. Will that be true for all of us? I very much doubt it. So if we want to have the luxury of intercontinental travel in our older years we better get thinking about how the bloody hell we are going to pay for it...

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