This weekend, we Brits are predicted to blow around £275 each* on Black Friday goods we often don’t need, but feel obliged to buy, given the hysteria created by what is increasingly seen as a trashy American import.
We will pile into shops or go online to buy 55-inch TVs, iPads, beard trimmers and other items that in many cases won’t even be for Christmas but are simply purchased due to the FOMO created by a 24/7, 360° cacophony of ‘sales, sales, sales’.
Collectively, we will spend a terrifying £9bn on tat. The irony is that research from multiple sources has shown that a lot of Black Friday deals aren’t even that competitive, and that you can get a better bargain at various other points of the year. Prices are merely inflated only to be marked down and sold as ‘bargains’. It’s an age-old trick that we continue to fall for.
However, if we all chose to boycott Black Friday each year and invested that 275 quid into a pension between the age of 18 and 67 instead, we would be adding a mahoosive £500 a month to our retirement incomes based on current annuity rates, paid out of an additional £120,000 in our pension pots.
That £120,000 is almost twice the average UK pension pot of £61,897 after a lifetime of saving — and could make a real difference to people’s quality of living when they have finally retired. You could be out on the golf course, in some private health club or even on a beach rather than watching Gogglebox.
It feels to us as if the Government is missing a trick here and should be running an ad campaign of its own, using these or similar statistics to show that boycotting Black Friday could solve the pensions timebomb — and give Brits a better quality life in retirement.
And best of all, topping up your pension means you won’t be lining the pockets of sweatshop fat cats like Mike Ashley, or be paying to blast Jeff Bezos and pals into space all over again.
With an estimated one in five pensioners currently living in poverty, there’s never been a better time to boycott Black Friday and put your money to work in a pension fund.