Confession of a shopaholic – book one of a shopaholic series part 22

I WAS MADE TO GO ON TELEVISION. That’s the truth. I was absolutely made to go on television.
We’re sitting on the sofas again, Rory and Emma and me, and Anne from Leeds is admitting over the
Line that she’s never given retirement planning a thought.
I glance at Emma and smile, and she twinkles back. I’ve never felt so warm and happy in all my life.
What’s really strange is that when it was me being inter-viewed, I felt all tongue-tied and nervous – but
On the other side of the sofa, I’ve been in my element right from the start. God, I could do this all day. I
Don’t even mind the bright lights anymore. They feel normal. And I’ve practiced the most flattering way
To sit in front of the mirror (knees together, feet crossed at the ankle), and I’m sticking to it.
“My mum used to tell me to take out a pension,” says Anne, “and I used to laugh at her. But now I’ve
Started to panic I’ve left it too late.”
“Rebecca?” says Emma. “Should Anne be concerned?”
Pensions, I think quickly. Come on, what do I know about pensions?
“Well,” I say. “Of course, the earlier you start saving, the more you’ll accumulate. But that’s no reason
To panic, Anne. The good thing is, you’re thinking about it now.”
“How old are you exactly, Anne?” says Emma.
“I’m thirty,” says Anne. “Thirty last month.”
Yes! Thank you, God!
“Ah, well,” I say knowledgeably. “A typical woman of thirty, who invested £100 a month, would receive
An income of £9,000 on retirement at sixty. That’s assuming 7 percent growth.”
Bingo. Rory and Emma look so impressed. OK, quick, what else?
“But you should also look for flexibility, Anne,” I continue. “Choose a scheme which allows you to take
A ‘holiday’ from payments, because you never know when you might need it.”
“That’s true,” says Anne thoughtfully. “I’d like to take a year off sometime and travel a bit.”
“Well, there you are!” I say triumphantly. “If you do that, you’ll want to be able to pause your pension
Payments. In fact, what I would do is – “
“Thanks, Rebecca,”

chimes in Emma. “Wise advice there! Now we’re going to go briefly to Davina for
News and weather. . .”
I’m rather disappointed at being interrupted. There were so many more things I could have said to Anne.
All the points I made in my pensions article are popping up in my head – and now that there’s a real
Person involved, they all suddenly seem a lot more interesting. In fact, the whole subject seems more
Inter-esting today. It’s as though all this stuff has suddenly got a point.
Believe it or not, I’m really enjoying the questions on this phone-in. I know about mortgages and I know
About life insur-ance and I know about unit trusts. I know so much more than I ever realized! A few
Minutes ago, Kenneth from St. Austell asked what the annual contribution limit for an ISA is – and the
Figure £5,000 just jumped right into my head. It’s as if some bit of my mind has been storing every single
Bit of information I’ve ever written – and now, when I need it, it’s all there.
“And after the break,” Emma’s saying, “since so many of you are ringing in, we’ll be coming back to this
Phone-in: ‘Managing Your Money.’ “
“Lots of people with money problems out there,” chimes in Rory.
“Absolutely,” says Emma. “And we want to help. So whatever your query, however big or small, please
Call in for Rebecca Bloomwood’s advice, on 0333 4567.

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Confession of a shopaholic – book one of a shopaholic series part 22