Build from the back

Education must start in schools, but I don’t want it taught as an extra curriculum topic, sponsored by big finance companies. Like all good education it needs to run through what is taught day to day.

So in maths, focus on percentages and use pension as examples of calculations. In history talk about how social security system started, the demographic at the time. In modern studies talk about political challenges of reform, and also future demographics and how things are clearly unsustainable.

Talk about personal accountability, underpinned by state support, not the other way around.

Sure it can be supplemented by support from industry, but this needs to run through the system, not at the side of it.

Then add compulsion, we must move to compulsion quicker than governments are willing.

We must build from the back. We will have lost years, but unless we fundamentally reform the approach we will have lost multiple generations. Many parallels from the sporting world. Cycling, German football – all success stories.

We must move to fix the problem long term, accepting that some people won’t be happy over the short term. What’s the alternative? The Scottish football team springs to mind!

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16 thoughts on “Build from the back

  • If your going to compulsion, is education that vital? Doesn’t it just end up being a political device to justify compulsion?

    Reply
    • Good point Phil, but is compulsion enough? The risk is people will think it is. And for a large part it will be. But. I suspect the majority if properly educated would put away more. Understand the value of earning, saving and spending in that order.

      Reply
      • If the problem is a stark choice between personal or state bankruptcy, I think it’s a big enough problem without worrying about anything on top. I think that will come. I remain a bit cynical about education anyway, I guess. I see it as a broader cultural and psychological issue, well beyond the influence of education alone.

        Reply
        • Phil, agree its beyond education. But surely unless you start with that education you never change what happens?

          Reply
  • I agree that compulsion is the only way. However, compulsion does not negate the need for education. Education is also important. People need to be educated so that they understand the importance of pensions and don’t see it as just another stealth tax. They need to understand that it isn’t something for your employer to manage. Additionally, providers need to be educated about the needs of the people. I believe many younger professionals put off pension contributions because they feel they have to make a choice between accumulating a deposit for a property purchase, then a family etc. Locking money away for retirement doesn’t provide the flexibility that most people need. Thats why im such a fan of the Kiwi Saver product in New Zealand. It takes these “life events” into consideration and provides that little bit of flexibility that people may need.

    Reply
    • Stewart I agree. As and when compulsion does come in it will need further education. But I think it’s education beyond just saving. It’s education on the history and the future of finances and state support.

      Reply
  • Education means to “bring up” or “lead out”, as practicing etymologists will recognise. That implies preparation for adulthood, i.e. life on your own. Taking personal responsibility.

    In my teaching days (a long time ago) we had responsibility for kids who should have left school that year, but the raising of the school leaving age to 16 meant they were relegated to an external classroom for a year. We came up with the idea that since these kids were not going on to further education, we should prepare them for the “World of Work”: How tax and national insurance worked. How mortgages worked and how to buy a house. The vote. Days seconded out to local employers, and so on. They loved it, but it lasted one year as the system extended the school life accordingly.

    Preparation for life. More than 40% (that’s nearly half, kids) of life is likely to be retirement for todays nippers. Prepare them for it. Compulsion on pensions is almost certain. Education to 18 is compulsory. It is gross negligence not to prepare kids for life. And life includes retirement.

    Reply
    • Thanks Graham, unsurprisingly I agree. With one change. Lets not leave it to 16 or 17. Kids have an inherent desire to save, a few studies show this. It’s when they hit 11 or 12 they start to turn, they become what society is. Suspect it’s probably happening earlier in some cases. So lets start with the education on financial matters earlier.

      Reply
  • I agree that compulsion is the only way. However, compulsion does not negate the need for education. Education is also important. People need to be educated so that they understand the importance of pensions and don’t see it as just another stealth tax. They need to understand that it isn’t something for your employer to manage. Additionally, providers need to be educated about the needs of the people. I believe many younger professionals put off pension contributions because they feel they have to make a choice between accumulating a deposit for a property purchase, then a family etc. Locking money away for retirement doesn’t provide the flexibility that most people need. Thats why im such a fan of the Kiwi Saver product in New Zealand. It takes these “life events” into consideration and provides that little bit of flexibility that people may need.

    Reply
    • Stewart I agree. As and when compulsion does come in it will need further education. But I think it’s education beyond just saving. It’s education on the history and the future of finances and state support.

      Reply
  • If your going to compulsion, is education that vital? Doesn’t it just end up being a political device to justify compulsion?

    Reply
    • Good point Phil, but is compulsion enough? The risk is people will think it is. And for a large part it will be. But. I suspect the majority if properly educated would put away more. Understand the value of earning, saving and spending in that order.

      Reply
      • If the problem is a stark choice between personal or state bankruptcy, I think it’s a big enough problem without worrying about anything on top. I think that will come. I remain a bit cynical about education anyway, I guess. I see it as a broader cultural and psychological issue, well beyond the influence of education alone.

        Reply
        • Phil, agree its beyond education. But surely unless you start with that education you never change what happens?

          Reply
  • Education means to “bring up” or “lead out”, as practicing etymologists will recognise. That implies preparation for adulthood, i.e. life on your own. Taking personal responsibility.

    In my teaching days (a long time ago) we had responsibility for kids who should have left school that year, but the raising of the school leaving age to 16 meant they were relegated to an external classroom for a year. We came up with the idea that since these kids were not going on to further education, we should prepare them for the “World of Work”: How tax and national insurance worked. How mortgages worked and how to buy a house. The vote. Days seconded out to local employers, and so on. They loved it, but it lasted one year as the system extended the school life accordingly.

    Preparation for life. More than 40% (that’s nearly half, kids) of life is likely to be retirement for todays nippers. Prepare them for it. Compulsion on pensions is almost certain. Education to 18 is compulsory. It is gross negligence not to prepare kids for life. And life includes retirement.

    Reply
    • Thanks Graham, unsurprisingly I agree. With one change. Lets not leave it to 16 or 17. Kids have an inherent desire to save, a few studies show this. It’s when they hit 11 or 12 they start to turn, they become what society is. Suspect it’s probably happening earlier in some cases. So lets start with the education on financial matters earlier.

      Reply

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