Young and old, we all worry about how to pay for later life so it’s been a decidedly grim ‘bad week’ for all of us when it comes to retirement savings. The Daily Mail reported on new research that has found that 21% of pension savers in the past two years have decided that saving for a pension has to take a back seat to attending to more pressing financial concerns. Worrying, around a third of people aged between 44, who are most likely to be bringing up children, have dropped out of their present pension schemes. The Mail puts a positive spin on the story by noting that rising retirement ages and longer lives potentially mean that more people feel they can afford to put their saving on hold and still have the time to make up their savings later in their career.

The savings industry also came in for criticism this week as The Guardian reported on a damning study carried out by the Financial Conduct Authority, which concluded that retired savers are getting a poor deal from their annuities. Particular criticism was directed at financial comparison websites who were found to be ‘guilty of poor practices’. People with small pension pots, of less than £5,000 and needed to ‘make every penny count’ were found to have been treated particularly badly.

Martin Wheatley, the FCA's chief executive, said there was "virtually no market whatsoever" for people in this position because only a small handful of providers offered them annuities.

They say however that the best things in life are free, and being frank - and it being Valentine’s Day - it’s fitting we end with a more risqué ‘good week’ as reported in The Independent.

In testing the widespread opinion that as women age, sex becomes less important, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that for most women sex isn’t something that loses its significance as they get older. In interviewing over 600 women aged between 40 and 65 the team asked them to report if they were sexually active, and how important they felt sex was in their lives.

The study concluded, that in contrast to prior research, most women remain sexually active as they get older. The study also hinted that present tests are perhaps also to blame in fuelling popular stereotypes that as women get older, sex becomes unimportant. The lead researcher noted that “focus on intercourse may not accurately reflect what constitutes satisfying sex [among middle aged women], yielding falsely low scores (in surveys considering sex lives)”.

Happy Valentine’s day everyone!



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