Monday, March 24, 2014

Decision Time

Clearly the most important choice I’ll have to make in 2015 is whether to go red or blue. 

I could alwys choose yellow, of course, but nowadays I think people in yellow look untrustworthy. Aside from Izzy, who only ever likes purple, my children would always cast a vote for green, but I’ve never been a green type of person. No – red or blue it must be. 

I’m talking about the colour of my new Lamborghini Huracán, of course. It’s a snip at only £186,760 on the road. I’ve calculated that it will enable me to get Izzy to school roughly 4 seconds faster than at present (this being the extra time it currently takes my Volvo to reach the 20 mile per hour speed limit on the school run).

I doubt it will affect my lifestyle: even though the Huracán does 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and will cruise at 202mph on the straight, you can’t really get above 40 round here because of the potholes, and there aren’t any straights. 

Steve Webb MP, who is definitely a yellow, being the Lib Dem coalition minister for pensions, says he’s relaxed about anyone blowing their pension pot on a Lamborghini next year as we’ve spent the last forty years saving for it, and anyway “we are treating people as adults”. 

The changes in the pension rules are a masterstroke for the coalition. Realising that nobody actually believes Government claims that the recession is over – try telling that to your bank manager – they’re going to inject a massive dose of security directly into people’s finances on April 6th 2015, exactly 31 days before we’ll be voting in the next general election. Already the bandwagon’s being painted blue. 

Not everyone’s finances will be affected, of course. Mostly it will be well-off soon-to-retire potential Tories in marginal seats who have amassed sums in their self-administered pension schemes, coincidentally one of the larger parts of the population likely to turn out and vote. 

These are the people who, in their 50s and 60s, have already reached the personal crisis of finding their life expectancy extended to another 40 years with a decreasing net income. Right now, I’d wager the stockbrokers who invest their pensions are buying shares in Volkswagen, the company that owns Lamborghini. 

Personally, I wouldn’t be seen dead in a supercar. I briefly had to cope with admiring glances at traffic lights several years ago when my girlfriend encouraged me to buy a Mercedes convertible. It was only second hand, but I thought it immeasurably cool. Its electric hood went up and down ever so slowly, giving plenty of time for bystanders to ogle. 

After cruising Chelsea’s Kings Road for a week I proudly drove it to a celebrity picnic, but was utterly crushed when Rowan Atkinson parked next to me in his brand new purple McLaren supercar. 

A few months later, after my three children rebelled against being squashed in the back (they had to sit with their feet in the air), the roof stuck in the down position in a rainstorm and a few days later the Mercedes became a Range Rover. Middle-aged spread did the rest: I very much doubt my girth would even squeeze into a Lamborghini. I’m not bitter – just fat. 

I’m looking forward to the spam phone calls from rogue financial advisors waiting to tell me how to invest my pension money next year. I can’t wait to hear the disappointment in their voices when I tell them I’m buying a Lamborghini. Which, of course, I’m not. 

For me, the prospect of living for another 40 years on my current savings is daunting enough. Staying alive till 2055, getting Izzy to adulthood, paying off the mortgage, and still being able to afford the Volvo, is going to be a real challenge. 

I just need to remember to take a couple of quid each week out of my pension pot so I can play the Euromillions lottery. The bloke who won £108million last week could buy a new Lamborghini every six days with just the interest on his fortune. 

It’s lucky he’s a car mechanic, though. They say Italian cars are notoriously unreliable.

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