The Problem With Financial Experts

The problem with financial experts is that, to the one, they have tremendous influence over people's outlooks on wealth security. To the other, they are utterly useless to people who don't have wealth security.

Or, as Mark Steel offers the view from across the Pond:
One of the most touchingly innocent lines of thought you hear is from financial experts when they're giving advice about the need to provide for our pensions, now the state pension is unreliable. "The earlier you start, the better," they say. And: "It's best to top up your contributions to £400 a month."

I never get further than that but I presume they continue: "Because all of us have several hundred pounds spare at the end of each month that we can't think what to do with. Some of us spend it on crack, or buy antique furniture and set fire to it, or have our pets gold-plated or take out a super-injunction but it makes much more sense to put that annoying leftover cash in a pension fund."

Now, in response to the disturbing news that more of us are living longer, selfishly placing an unbearable strain on the nation's finances, the Association of British Insurers has been public spirited enough to find a solution. They suggest "workers should be forced to pay towards the cost of their long-term care in old age", adding "almost two-thirds of adults have given no thought to how they would afford a place at a residential home".

They might not be exactly right, as most people have given it a thought, but the thought has been: "I'm buggered if I know HOW to pay for it, I just hope I keel over in one go". In any case what sort of 23-year-old says: "Ooh no, you go to Glastonbury if you like, but I'm putting that revenue into my care home fund. You might think you're enjoying yourself but you'll regret it in 73 years when I'm the one getting sponged down regular."
And then there are those of us who don't give it a thought because there is no point to it. Winning the lottery, writing a bestseller, or maybe dealing drugs.

Or I could hope for American socialism.

No, seriously though. There are a lot of people in our society who do important, or, at least, gainful work that just won't see the point of putting whatever pittance they have beyond necessity—or, I suppose, whatever pittance they have, period, regardless of whether it meets necessity—toward retirement.

It sort of reminds me of the lectures we used to get from our parents about financial responsibility. Sometimes it seemed as if the calculations about money presumed human beings need no substantial recreation in order to maintain their sanity. Of course, if we all took up meditation, we wouldn't be spending much at all in our recreation.

Maybe that is the key: We should all live like monks in order that we can give that excess income to the financial experts; after all, it's rightly their money, anyway. Right?