When dad knows best

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
I never wanted to know about pensions - don't worry about the long haul, live for the now, I learned at my father's knee.

The crowd I hung out with in my early twenties affectionately tolerated a guy called Pete, who, unlike the rest of us, owned a car but was too tight to replace the dodgy windscreen wiper on the passenger side. He also had a habit of disappearing whenever it was his round. Funnier still, he had not only one pension scheme, but two, at the age of 23. How we laughed.

Cut to 10 years later: two small children and hard times, my junior teacher's salary barely getting me through mortgage and nursery fees. And in a nod to my mental wellbeing, I've just left a secure teaching job to do supply. For the first time, I'm a bit frightened for the future, and I admit as much to my dad over a beer. How the hell, I wonder, am I ever going to be able to send my kids to college?

True to form, he's philosophical about matters financial. Don't worry about all that, he tells me, there are always loans, and it's a long way off.

Then, in a life-changing moment, he picks through the change on the bar, turns serious and says: "Just don't bugger up your pension. It really bloody creeps up on you."

Damn. I had the man from the Pru round shortly afterwards to sort out some AVCs. Now on my third career, and, how I laugh, I've got three pensions, so far. And even funnier? When my dear, financially feckless friends in their thirties are beginning to wonder about their approaching middle age, what are my words of wisdom? "Just don't forget your pension."

I hope I never have to admit as much to penny-pinching Pete.

Fiona Flynn works at The TES

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now