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Living life to the full - at what cost?

Living life to the full – at what cost?

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 4 minutes

I know the recent figures are based on modern day cost of living, but if I had only two children I probably could have afforded more time sampling the delights of the East coast.

With the latest estimates that the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of twenty one has surpassed the £225,000 mark, I started to think about the cost of life itself. The information regarding the cost of having a child in the present day was gathered by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR). The cost were gauged on a young person’s hobbies, food, clothes and education.

It got me thinking about my own situation. My wife and I have seven grown-up children between us, three of whom are down to myself and my first marriage. I know that the recent figures are based on modern day cost of living, but if I had only had two children I probably could have afforded more time sampling the delights of the East coast, (only joking Rianne, if you’re reading this).

So as I sat there musing on what could have been, I got to thinking about what the younger generation think of me and more importantly, what am I going to cost them – well not them personally, but the country as a whole, in times to come. As a fifty four year old, I feel it won’t be that long until they see me as a burden on the country’s resources.

You would obviously think that at our ages, my wife and I would own our own house outright, have a reasonable amount of savings in the bank, enough to keep us in comfort for the rest of our lives and that we would be able sort out our future funeral costs. Hopefully we would also be able put a feathery lining inside the nest of our offspring. No such luck I’m afraid. My wife and I only own around 85% of our house and all our savings have been swallowed up during the six to seven years of a worldwide financial recession. Still there’s always the lottery!

Although, things, financially are “On the Up” I still feel it will be very difficult for me and my wife to recover in time to get back to the position we were in six years ago and not have to worry about our relatively short future. Don’t get me wrong, I feel I am in a very good place financially, and thoughts of insolvency or bankruptcy only enter a conversation when I am writing blogs such as this.

I do not want this to be a depressing piece and I could lighten thing’s up by quoting some of the near the knuckle, amusing, ageist comments that our kids have come up with recently towards myself and my Mrs, but I really want this article to be published.

It does, though, remind me of a conversation I had with “Towd Albert” in the club last week when he said to me that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and that “it wer gooin ter be a reyt problem fer him”.

I told him that I, like many others, would understand and help him through this problem.

“Wot thy on about, wot problem?” he replied.

Working for Wilson Field Insolvency practitioners and business recovery specialist, I talk to many people from many walks of life and hear many stories of financial woe. I find that there are no set guidelines to what age debt becomes a problem to people. I hear stories on the news about council-run care homes for the elderly having to close due to lack of cash. Who’s to blame?

The powers that be, that is, the three (or is it two) major powers running the country who are always ready to blame each other – but where does that leave us?

The point I am trying to make in all this, is that we are never too old to start thinking about the future. The country will be paying us future elderly people a pension, which I believe we will thoroughly deserve. The country will support us in all our medical needs, thanks to the tax payer’s money and the NHS. So I have no worries about what’s to come. It could be better, but it could be a lot worse.

Time to take a step back and consider where you are now financially. If you have any doubts about your future, seek professional financial advice now. The future belongs to the young and let’s help them to help us.

We and our friends always end up sitting next to Albert in the club on a Sunday lunchtime. He re-lives many memories with us. He relates very funny stories with regards to his past and gives myself and my friends much food for thought. I look at the wry smile he has on his face as he walks out of the bar when he’s had enough to drink. He has, thanks to his mates, free beer inside him and more money in his pocket than he came in with, thanks to the “friendly” game of dominoes he suggested. It makes me think that he should be giving the financial advice, not me!

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