Opinion  

An iPhone in the hand is worth two Isas in the bush

Emma Ann Hughes

Emma Ann Hughes

Tisa teased us today with promises that in 2015 they are going to unveil seven things that need to happen to make saving as easy as plunging into debt has become.

They promised a combination of education, guidance and tax incentives would kick start a savings habit in a nation where one in five spend more than they earn.

Let us hope Tisa is successful, but I remain sceptical.

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Too much of today’s conference (so far, I file this Blog while sat here) was dominated by talk of statistics and not enough about the psychology of people who do not want to delay pleasure today to avoid potential poverty in the far off future.

When I talk to those starting their working lives today, despite the fact we have been through a crippling credit crunch they have higher expectations of what lifestyle they should be living than new starters did little more than a decade ago.

Back then, many expected to rent a room in a shared house. Now, many expect their own flat in a fashionable postcode - and rather than just a pay as you go mobile in their pockets they carry several hundreds of pounds worth of technology about their person.

Rather than trot out depressing statistics, I think we need to start realising that people associate wealth with how current the model and fashionable the brand of car, handbag, mobile phone, tablet computer, etc, they own is.

That is why I would back Mark Hoban MP’s suggestion that the government should force people to increase their pension contributions, perhaps relating to the percentage of their pay increases.

It would not be a popular move but the state of the nation’s finances show sometimes people don’t know what is in their long-term best interests.

I mean, it may be fun when your mates admire your new shoes in a bar but they aren’t going to help you avoid having to walk to Aldi in retirement because you can’t afford a car are they?

But I do beg to differ with Mr Hoban that increasing contributions for future pay increase will not hurt as they will never miss what they never had. Even if you don’t have the latest gadget you can see others all around you that do and salivate.

emma.hughes@ft.com