The year 2000 and beyond would bring great leaps forward, all designed to make life better and more comfortable.
The vision began well enough. It pictured a thriving metropolis surrounded by an airport, factories and hotels. Beyond the town lay the leafy suburbs, apartments, houses, parks and playgrounds.
In this world, solar and atomic power are used to create the energy needed to heat the homes, atomic-driven liners cruise the oceans and cars drive on double-decker highways.
With the more efficient lower deck reserved for business traffic.
However, it’s the little knick-knacks of daily life that provide the most amusement and go to show that predicting the future is no simple task.
A TV set combined with the radio and telephone which allow for video conferencing and shopping has to make do for Skype and the internet.
Not a bad try, I suppose.
And once the housewife has bought new clothes on her TV, she can head into her futuristic kitchen to prepare a cake with a difference…
For in 1950, it was predicted that sugary foods would be made from recycled sawdust shavings and wood pulp. Now, it would be uncharitable of me to suggest that my local bakery probably employs those methods today, but anyway.
Speaking of shaving, razors are a thing of the past in the 1950 vision of tomorrow, as pesky whiskers are literally rubbed away thanks to the application of male grooming chemicals.
Of course, we’re just as eager to look ahead and imagine what things might be like in another 50 years from now. With the speed at which technology develops today, how different will the world of 2083 be in comparison to ours?
The classic American TV series Star Trek has always thrived on that curiosity, and has thrown some great suggestions our way. But for a show based in the 23rd Century, it’s hard not to look upon their flip-open communicators in Into Darkness, (the latest film in the franchise) and think that they look a little Motorola circa 2003.
Surely we won’t even be holding devices by then?
Perhaps we’ll be able to link into an invisible network merely by thinking ourselves there, thanks to implants in our head. Or maybe a click of our fingers will be all we need to teleport ourselves to the office in person, our molecules reassembling themselves in a conference room miles away, ready to begin the meeting.
Who can say…?
What is for sure is that you need to prepare for the future, no matter how unpredictable and far-away it may seem. And right now, some things are substantially different to how they were foreseen back in 1950.
Take a look at the following. Not science fiction – but startling financial FACT.
A quarter of people living today are likely to reach the age of 100 (source: DWP)
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people working past State pension age has doubled in the past 20 years.
More than 1.6 million retired people still have a mortgage. Annuity experts MGM Advantage estimates 95,0000 retirees owe more than £25,000 and 151,000 owe more than £100,000.
Over the next 7 years 600,000 interest-only mortgages are due to mature and the financial regulator expects almost half of these borrowers need more time to repay.
One in 10 are forced to delay retirement, according to the Daily Telegraph 5/2/12.
A combination of plummeting annuity rates and poor investment returns means thousands cannot afford to stop work.
Twenty years ago a 65 year old man retiring with a £100,000 pension fund would have been able to secure a guaranteed income of over £15,000 a year. Today, with annuity rates at less than 6pc, the same pension fund buys less than £6,000 a year.
This wasn’t the comfortable and easier way of living that people hoped for. Why is it happening? And what can you do now to avoid finding yourself in the same position in the future?
Well – it’s all down to a number of factors.
One of the major contributors is the fact that we are now living longer.
Advances in medical science, improvements in lifestyle, diet and general living conditions have combined to give us all greater longevity.
And of course the longer we live, the further our pension pots need to stretch.
This all sounds very bleak on the surface.
It needn’t be that way though. By speaking to The London Investor we can plan ahead together to ensure that you don’t retire in the red and can enjoy bright and prosperous times instead – a future every bit as relaxing and enjoyable as the New York Times predicted in 1950.
Just maybe without the recycled sawdust cake.
We’re independent pension specialists and put our clients and their interests first in everything that we do. Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll take a look at your current pension plan and work out the best way forward to ensure that your finances work for you, your family and your future.
Take a look at our pension and retirement planning options here.http://www.investoo.co.uk/pensions/
Or, keep a beady eye out for our Retirement Awareness Campaign. We’ll be putting out a series of articles that will tell you all about real, tangible solutions to retirement finance and how best to manage your pensions and plan for the future.
We’re not about the hard sell. We’re all about doing things right – for you.
The London Investor. Welcome to the Future of Finance.
Strategic Development Director