Letter: Facing the age of uncertainty

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The Independent Online
Letter: Facing the age of uncertainty Sir: Polly Toynbee observes that "retirement is respectable and life is full of enjoyable and useful things to do outside the world of paid work" (13 May) and questions the right of the bulge-baby generation to "have-it-all-for-ever".

I am a bulge baby and have had a moderate amount for most of the time and am not complaining about that. However, to assume that we all have access to "a small income" displays a rather Marie-Antoinette attitude unlike Ms Toynbee's usual standard of comment.

Among my friends, married, divorced, single, with children or otherwise, many are already in insecure or low-paid jobs and giving up work has nothing to do with an unwillingness to give up status, identity or standard of living but everything to do with keeping a roof over our heads and paying the bills. If we give our jobs to the young we are merely redistributing the work available and transferring to them the responsibility for supporting an ageing population.

Government legislation against "ageism" may make us feel noticed but many of us fear that retirement is a luxury we may never be able to afford.

Bridget Bodoano

London SW12

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