Drinking my retirement away

Well, I wouldn’t say that I’m profiting from the Hungarian Government’s crazy economic policies. But after they nationalized the private pension funds and stole took all the money that pension holders have been paying in, the government was kind enough to return the profits to the people. So I just picked my retirement profits up from the Post Office (as I work during the day to pay for my pension – and thus not at home to receive the money from the Postman when he does his rounds during the day).

Now, I wasn’t expecting much, but I did get a fair chunk of money considering my amount of time and money that I’ve paid into the private pension system, which was around 8% of my pay for the past few years.  So I received the profit that was made off of that (with the government keeping the rest to pay BKV debt and the like), and I would say I’m fairly pleased. Essentially, if the money had built up during the next 30 years I would have been in a good condition. But now – under the new regime – I will have to ‘trust in’ the Hungarian economy and population growth. Well, hopefully I won’t be retiring in Hungary.

What to do when your pension is taken away? Watch trams and drink at Moskva ter. It was proposed to take the pension money and pay the debt of BKV. So it is better to drink your pension profits while watching your pension roll by.

So what to do with my windfall profit? Well, my first reaction is (and was) to drink it all away. So I’m writing from the Moskva ter Bistro while drinking the magical  Bistro Beer – only 380 ft. This place is significant (ok, it is also my local) as the Budapest City Council, in keeping with the radical magyarization of the country, has renamed it Szell Kalmen ter. Which coincidentally also the name of the current economic plan that is meant to be rescuing Hungary. Anyone that has been to Moskva ter can tell you (and who also has followed the fallen promises that this main transport hub will be fixed up), can tell you, DO NOT name your economic plan after the name of this ter. And sure enough, the plan is failing and the country is entering another recession. The simple explanation is that it is failing because they stuck the name on Moskva ter – the horribly planned and dated Communist hub that it is (ok, so maybe their plan is appropriately named.) So what is there to do when you get unexpected money in a failing state? Drink a few beers.

My pension money should buy these guys a few beers

My other thought, in connecting my wind fall profits to government policy, is to go and gamble and see if I can increase my future retirement money. Call me chicken, but I don’t have the ‘bravery’ of PM Viktor Orban, to gamble my future away on risky financial moves. Call me conservative, but I’ll probably have another beer and then invest my money someplace safer than Hungary – probably the US, and that isn’t saying much these days.

Now I know how those large international investors feel. ‘Hungary or another country?’ I’m now voting with my money and moving it far away where Viktor Orban can’t touch it. Who knows what type of creative tax or nationalization of assets will pop up in the future.