Category: Retirement

Next Phase: Retirement


Next Phase: Retirement

Life begins at retirement.
– Anon


The phases of life are usually, from birth, getting an education, working for a living, retirement and then whatever comes next!  Of course this is not always the case as sometimes the grim reaper comes calling in before you even started to really live.

You also hear of cases now where the nanny state looks after the people in her very encompassing embrace and protection.  Just a few weeks ago I was talking to a man who was very proud of his disability.  He was only in his late 50s but he was half-boasting that he has not worked for more than 37 years and yet he and his family are comfortably housed, fed, and clothed.  (All he was worried about was how the new Universal Credit will apply to him and his family.  Again he is lucky as the Universal Credit is for the moment only affects those who are single claimants.)

I will not retire while I still have my legs and my make-up box.
– Bette Davis

At the other side of the spectrum, there are those who are only too happy to go on working as long as they can;  we have very dear friends who have worked all their lives, taking any kind of jobs along the way. They had just retired this year at the ages of 80 and mid-70.  They are both hale and hearty, probably because of their industrious ways and keeping busy all the time.

Peter and I attended a Retirement seminar a couple of weeks ago.  It was rather sobering to note that retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Apparently, retirement is not really a time for that perceived and imagined comfortable life in the sun overlooking the seaside.  Retirement is just another obstacle course to navigate in one’s life.

I’m retired – goodbye tension, hello pension!
– Anon

If you don’t look after your money, your money won’t look after you.  The IFA conducting the seminar said that the number one foe of retirement is inflation. To start with, you might think that you have enough to live on, but can you still live comfortably in 10 years time when inflation has sunk its mighty claws into the basic necessities of everyday life?

Peter and I just hoped that the IFA gave us a frigthener to ensure that we invest the tax-free cash, which is 25 per cent of the pension pot.  But then again, he might have a point.  The salaries in the last 5 years have not really gone up but the prices of food, water, gas, electricity and fare have gone up exponentially.  These are basic necessities, things that we cannot do without.

It was only mentioned during the seminar that state pension is under consideration. It is being mulled about that it should be awarded at 70 of age for both men and women and that they needed to have both worked for a minimum of 35 years each (or to have previously claimed benefits for 35 years).

There are also the Inheritance Tax (IHT) to consider and most frighteningly, the dreaded Long Term Care.  If not thought out properly the home you paid for with crippling mortgage will not pass to your heirs.  Instead it could be forcibly taken out of your hands to pay for your long term care.

Another thing to really think about!!!

Saving for Retirement
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
– Abraham Lincoln



Retirement is a phase in every working person’s life that comes sooner or later; many wish sooner rather than later.

But is retirement all what it is cracked up to be?

According to a British insurer, 1 in every 5 pensioners returns to work after retirement to alleviate boredom? Will you or are you one of the returnees?

Does life begins at retirement?

Is retirement an ending or a beginning?




English & Poverty

This is a very interesting article which was tucked in somewhere in BBC News. Prof Chen at Yale had found out from research that the tense of a language is somehow dictates people’s habit of savings.

Languages that have future tenses tend to not save while the opposite applies to those without future tenses.

Other experts on his field have debunked his findings as saving is determined mainly by interest rate rather than tenses.

I would say saving is determined by having money to save in the first place and yes the discipline to put away money regularly no matter what language you speak.

Anyway Prof Chen might be into something but all we need is to keep an open mind as well as learn another language but not French. It should be either Mandarin or German.

Get enrolling for languages to get the lolly (money) for retirements or rainy days.


Why speaking English can make you poor when you retire

By Tim BowlerBusiness reporter, BBC News

Two heads in profile with dialogueNot all languages require the use of a future tense

Could the language we speak skew our financial decision-making, and does the fact that you’re reading this in English make you less likely than a Mandarin speaker to save for your old age?

It is a controversial theory which has been given some weight by new findings from a Yale University behavioural economist, Keith Chen.

Prof Chen says his research proves that the grammar of the language we speak affects both our finances and our health.

Bluntly, he says, if you speak English you are likely to save less for your old age, smoke more and get less exercise than if you speak a language like Mandarin, Yoruba or Malay.


Prof Chen divides the world’s languages into two groups, depending on how they treat the concept of time.


“Start Quote

If your language separates the future and the present in its grammar, that seems to lead you to slightly disassociate the future from the present”

Keith Chen

Yale University


Strong future-time reference languages (strong FTR) require their speakers to use a different tense when speaking of the future. Weak future-time reference (weak FTR) languages do not.

“If I wanted to explain to an English-speaking colleague why I can’t attend a meeting later today, I could not say ‘I go to a seminar’, English grammar would oblige me to say ‘I will go, am going, or have to go to a seminar’.

“If, on the other hand, I were speaking Mandarin, it would be quite natural for me to omit any marker of future time and say ‘I go listen seminar’ since the context leaves little room for misunderstanding,” says Prof Chen.

Even within European languages there are clear grammatical differences in the way they treat future events, he says.

“In English you have to say ‘it will rain tomorrow’ while in German you can say ‘morgen regnet es’ – it rains tomorrow.”

Disassociating the future

Speakers of languages which only use the present tense when dealing with the future are likely to save more money than those who speak languages which require the use a future tense, he argues.

English and French writing on a blackboard
  • Strong FTR languages: Chaha, English, French, Fula, Gamo, Hausa, Igbo, Italian, Moore, Russian, Tigrinya, Tamil
  • Weak FTR languages: Amharic, Dyula, Estonian, German, Malay, Mandarin, Oromo, Sidamo, Yoruba

So how does a mere difference in grammar cause people to save less for their retirement?

“The act of savings is fundamentally about understanding that your future self – the person you’re saving for – is in some sense equivalent to your present self,” Prof Chen told the BBC’s Business Daily.

“If your language separates the future and the present in its grammar that seems to lead you to slightly disassociate the future from the present every time you speak.

“That effectively makes it harder for you to save.”

Even more controversial, is Prof Chen’s assertion that language differences underpin wider differences in people’s behaviour.

In his research paper, he says that compared to speakers of languages which use a future tense, speakers of languages with no real future tense are:

  • Likely to have saved 39% more by the time they retire
  • 31% more likely to save in a year
  • 24% less likely to smoke
  • 29% more likely to be physically active
  • 13% less likely to be obese


Not surprisingly, Prof Chen’s findings have been criticised by both economists and linguists.

They argue there are a number of cultural, social, or economic reasons why different language speakers behave differently.

It is a point Prof Chen acknowledges, saying “I completely agree, it seemed far-fetched to me when I started doing this research as well.”

But he says his research has controlled for all these factors, by concentrating on nine multi-lingual countries: Belgium, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Estonia, DR Congo, Nigeria, Malaysia, Singapore, and Switzerland.

“You can find families that live right next door to each other, have exactly the same education levels, exactly the same income and even exactly same religion.

“Yet the family that speaks a language that doesn’t distinguish between the future and the present will save dramatically more,” he says.

In Nigeria, for example, Hausa has multiple future tenses, while Yoruba does not.

“You can find Nigerians who speak Hausa and Yoruba who live next to each other and yet have radically different savings behaviour.”

Findings challenged

“Start Quote

The extent to which the language shapes the thought is tiny”

John McWhorterColumbia University

But Morten Lau, director of Durham University’s Centre for Behavioural Economics, says the factors which affect how much people save have little to do with language.

“In my own work with savings, it is interest rates that determine savings behaviour.”

Prof Lau says there are often significant differences within language groups, and just using the average of these results in analysis can prove problematic.

“You have to be careful the inferences you make from correlations like these. It is very difficult to control for multiple factors.”

“For instance, in our own research in Denmark, we found that male smokers wanted a higher interest rate on their savings than did non-smokers. But that this did not apply to women smokers.”

‘A tempting idea’

Linguist John McWhorter, of Columbia University, says any influence a language’s structure has on the way its speakers see their world is extremely subtle.

“The extent to which the language shapes the thought is tiny. We’re talking about milliseconds of reaction.

Stack of language booksLanguage has very little effect on the way we think, say linguists

“None of it has ever been proven to have anything to do with how people see the world or experience life.

“It’s a tempting idea that simply doesn’t make any sense.”

Also, he says, some languages have been wrongly classified, thus undermining the statistical correlations.

“Russian, and languages like it, are a lot more like Mandarin than Keith Chen thinks.”

Despite his critics, Prof Chen insists his findings are robust.

“What’s remarkable, is when you find correlations this strong and that survive so many aggressive sets of controls, it’s actually hard to come up with a story of what else might be causing this.”

So what does Prof Chen think of the idea that if he is right, then English speakers who want to start saving more for their retirement, should start talking entirely in the present tense?

“It actually seems like encouraging yourself to think in the present tense makes it a little bit easier to engage in self-control.”

%d bloggers like this: