MY DAD tells me on an almost-daily basis that he’s concerned about my retirement.
Apparently I’ll be a pensioner before I know it and there’ll be nobody, NOBODY, looking after me.
“One day you’ll wake up, poor as a churchmouse, and realise you should have thought about money sooner,” he says, doom and gloom emanating from every pore.
“The state won’t care about you! Your husband might be long-dead! And what will you do?”
He pauses for dramatic effect.
“You’ll have to turn off the heating and eat cold beans for the rest of your retirement, that’s what!”
My dad has quite a bleak view of the future.
He’s proud of himself for being ‘a saver’, whereas I’m definitely ‘a spender’.
He buys stocks and shares. I buy shoes.
And although I’m not exactly ‘glass half full’, I find it hard to imagine things being as bad as my dad makes out.
“Well,” I suggest helpfully, “I could always begin a stockpile of those little sachets of mayonnaise you get at the services? At least then I’ll have condiments with my beans?”
I think my dad ends these conversation with a heavier heart than when he started.
“Anna, I think you’re missing the point...” he sighs.
“You’re right, sorry,” I say. “I’ll take it more seriously.
"Of course mayonnaise doesn’t go with beans.
“Maybe I’ll steal ketchup or brown sauce instead?”
My dad is trying to help me prepare for my dotage and I’m expected to take this Very Seriously Indeed.
Except, I don’t have a clue where to start.
So my dad is now employed (on an entirely pro bono basis) as my accountant.
This is in addition to his existing duties as an appliance-fixer, car-servicer and occasional shrink.
At this point, I can see how it might appear I’m not even doing that well as a grown-up, let alone one with a pension plan.
Still, at least I’ve got a well-stocked condiment cupboard.