Pensions ...the variations

(Mandy Davies) #101

I also live in a rural community. My tiny village is about 15kms from Mazamet, a town that was once rich and world famous in the wool/skin industry but is now very poor with few jobs and a high crime rate.

There is a small tourist industry and, in the summer, I work 1 day a week cleaning 5 star holiday villas. I have worked with many women (and they are all women) in the 6 seasons I have done this job and most have at least one other job.

One of my colleagues worked 3 jobs, all cleaning, in hotels and factories during the 6 months we worked together. She worked 7 days a week to support her family and was permanently exhausted. Her husband couldn’t find work so looked after the children. They were barely managing financially.

Another amazing lady lives with her 78 year old mother on a farm that her mother still tries to run herself (father died of cancer many years ago). It has been reduced to chickens and rabbits (the cattle and pigs became too much)
and my friend helps her mother as much as possible. She also had another 3 jobs. She does secretarial work at home, is an aide à domicile and worked with me in the summer. She also suffers from fibromyalgia, a chronic condition which means she is in constant pain.

Everyone is earning SMIC and life is tough for these ordinary working people.

My hubby and I live on about 1000€ a month. Our last holiday was our honeymoon in 2009, our car is 17 years old, we live in a tiny HLM flat (with thin walls and noisy neighbours), we never eat out, most of our clothes are second-hand or gifts and we have phones donated by family members. My husband has a chronic illness and I am his main carer so our options to improve our lot are extremely limited. In many ways we are fortunate. We have enough food and a warm place to live and we are very content to just be together and enjoy the small pleasures that life offers.

(Barbara Deane) #102

Vero you paint a picture of contrast as if my life was lavish. I am in the position of being able
to manage merely because I have struggled through all the agression of life in London.
I managed to survive through cancer many years back. I am not unique in this situation but
there is no choice …you either carry on or you fall by the side of the road.
J and I both came from families who had no vision or imagination…we had to find our own
way to the creative side of Town. So there were no treasure chests, family fortunes or properties
to share
Every achievment had to be formed from developed skills and determination.
So when you talk of the poor and deprived I know that they are out
there…but can they not find some determination to change their lives?
Are they happy enough as they are?
Are they, perhaps more happy than some of us who struggle to retain
a “certain” standard of living.
How do they view the really rich…those who have so much money that they
do not know what to do with it?
Are they filled with envy ?
Do they have unforfilled dreams or are they contented to free their minds from
a desire for more fortune?

(Anna Watson) #103

I can’t believe I’m reading this.

(Barbara Deane) #104

Why not?
Is the truth difficult?
There are some who just have no fight left…these are the people who need
some help.
i came from nothing…no property no money in the bank
No family to help me.
And I searched high and low for the answer,

I know of many poor people who have made the effort
to change their lives.
What is your back ground Anna?
I know of poor people who have looked at what was on the other side
of life and have done something about it.
Tell me something about you Anna.

(Timothy Cole) #105

Barbara, you certainly have a unique way of writing, at the moment I’m struggling to work out what you are trying to say. On several threads you have hinted that whilst in the UK you had a certain ‘profile’ yet just now you’ve said ‘I came from nothing’, confusing to say the least.

(Barbara Deane) #106

Tim I did come from nothing!
And I developed ambition and determination and became a chef
and restauranter. At one point my restaurant was one of the top 50
in the UK with Three Automobile Association rosettes.
Before this time I explored all sorts of work including managing a
band in London and Jimi Hendrix joined for a jam on bass.
But every thing developed from operating a succesful restaurant
which was sold and here I am.
What can you not understand?
That I still wanted to continue to work?
I enjoy my work even though it c an be challenging at times.I detect a touch
of superiority Tim…sorry if you do not appreciate the way I write!!!

(Timothy Cole) #107

Barbara, the vast majority of us ‘come from nothing’.

Superiority, moi? :wink:

(Barbara Deane) #108

what do you not understand?
No I think that many of you did not come from nothing…many of you inherited
and came from comfortable backgrounds.
yes…Timmie talking down to me.

(Timothy Cole) #109

First off, it’s Timmy not Timmie, correct spelling and grammar are so important as the tutors at Eton used to drum into us!

I did inherit £200 once from my grandmother’s estate in 1980. As for my background, well both my parents came from council house stock so yes definitely comfortable.

Do they sell sense of humour pills in the Gironde?

(Barbara Deane) #110

No I do not sell pills of any kind.
So what is your problem?
We both come from couchil house stock but, perhaps I saw life as an
adventure and I met lot of interesting people.
And I loved my work.
What do you not understand?
Going out now…So talk amongst yourselves.

(Anna Watson) #111

No - what I was finding hard to swallow, was talking about poor people as “they”. As if “they” are a different species from the rest of “us”. Is there a precise cut-off point at which a person become “a poor person” and a charity case needing help? Living on the equivalent of the UK state pension you consider so pathetic, perhaps?

FGS sake Barbara, “they” are all individuals, living their own lives.

I realise that you’re very proud of what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved and that’s great, you’ve done what you wanted and you have every right to be proud of yourself. But IMHO, judging people by your own standards and comparing them on what they have and what they’ve done, just isn’t healthy. People have different priorities and different values. Different things are important to them. How can we possibly have any idea how people we don’t even know, feel about anything?

Since you ask - my dad was a professional musician, he didn’t have a lot of material wealth and he died when I was 12. My mum eventually developed Alzheimers and had to be taken into care, so the family home went to pay for that. For reasons that I’ve never fathomed, neither my mum nor my dad appeared to have any family, or at least none was ever mentioned, I suspect the families may have been against the marriage. So to answer your question, no I didn’t inherit material wealth, but I inherited a love of music, language and literature, and an open-minded way of looking at the world. Or so I like to think.

(Barbara Deane) #112

We are all indibviduals living our lives.
I am happy to be able keep warm, eat when I need to. feed the cats,
pay for all the bills and get from one place to another.
I feel that every one should be able to enjoy this basic standard of living
I am not judging people just asking questions.
My father was a bus conductor and he enjoyed his work…
His last months were sadly mismanaged by the NHS.
My mother s life was cut short because a junior doctor in
the hospital made a decision which should not have been his to make.
I have no family…just for the records.
If people are genuninely in need of help they should get it.
And that is what I am talking about…at the same time I ask if people are
trying to make more of their lives…See the world, create a lovely garden…
develope a skill.
Some of us are stronger than others and manage their lives differntly.
7.000 euros is not enough.

(Timothy Cole) #113

Just so we are clear the new UK state pension is £160 per week starting from the 6th of April, £8300 p.a. not 7000 Euros.

(stella wood) #114

That’s good news…:slight_smile:

(Barbara Deane) #115

ah but who gets that?

(stella wood) #116

Every person who is entitled, will be receiving a letter outlining what they will be receiving for the coming year…

These letters come out every year, but perhaps for 2018 they may be extra welcome… :grinning:

(Barbara Deane) #117

depending on what you are receiving in accordance to how much NHI paid?
So those on 7000 will have a little more?

(Timothy Cole) #118

This is the NEW state pension that started last year, if you were in receipt of the state pension before April 2016 then the weekly rate this year is £126 - 7370 Euros at today’s exchange rate.

(Barbara Deane) #119

so not 8000 for many people then!

(Timothy Cole) #120

With respect Barbara, this is per person and is the basic pension, many UK pensioners (even those on the old pension) receive much more per week due to paying extra NI contributions during their working lifetime.