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I put all my cash into property, I've no pension - Linda

LINDA Martin is facing a tough retirement unless the property market recovers.

The panto star has revealed that she pumped all her savings into the property market and is now praying for a turn around in the ongoing slump.

The Eurovision winner bought into property rather than invest in a pension, and is now facing a massive hit.

"Anything I ever earned I put into property. That, for me, is my pension. When I finally decide I can no longer work, hopefully the recession will have passed.

"I bought property in Dublin and Florida centuries ago. The value has dropped, but thankfully I don't have to sell," she revealed.

While she may have quite a wait on her hands before any pick-up in the property market, Linda insists she's in no rush to retire.

"I never invested in a pension. I wouldn't like if someone said I had to retire at 65. I've been too active all my life and I find working therapeutic," she added.

And despite the massive property crash, Linda still credits property as the best investment she's every made.

"It's old-fashioned of me to put my money into bricks and mortar but it's not something I started doing yesterday. The property crash is difficult for some people, but I have to think it will turn around. I doubt we'll ever see [boom-time] house prices again, though."

Speaking about her Eurovision pal Dana's chances in the presidential race, Linda said: "I'd like to think she'll do very well, but she's up against it from Michael D Higgins and David Norris.

"She's been my friend for centuries. I admire her honesty. But I would tend to be more liberal than her."

The singer also revealed that she has struggled and been broke in the past.

"That's show business. There are so many ups and downs because we're self-employed and it's not reliable in that we don't know where our next work is going to come from.

"Even at this stage of my life, I go through phases where the phone never stops ringing and phases where it never rings at all."

However, she credits a work ethic instilled from a young age with keeping her going.

And she revealed that her Eurovision win in 1992 is still bringing her work.

Describing the win as "the light at the end of the tunnel", Linda added: "I had been doing one-night stands with bands forever and I couldn't get to the next rung of the ladder. Johnny Logan was a friend and he produced the song.

"As a result, I was able to go and work in Europe. One minute, I would be singing to the kings and queens of Europe in a castle, and the next I'd be singing at a corporate function at the Berkeley Court hotel in Dublin. It was a different level. That was almost 20 years ago and Eurovision is still good to me," she added.

She said that the most important lesson she ever learned was that money can't buy health.

"Every day I wake up and say: "I'm alive, I'm breathing, I'm happy."

hnews@herald.ie