SEOUL, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) – About 2 out of 3 retirees aged 50 or older in South Korea are forced to cut their living expenditures, a recent survey showed on Monday.
For most office workers, the retirement experience is far from carefree golden years.
Hana Financial Group Inc., a major South Korean banking group, conducted a survey of 1,000 male and female retirees aged 50 to 64 who live in Seoul, the metropolitan area and five major metropolitan cities, who have yet to receive the national pension.
Half of the respondents retired from their job in their late 40s to early 50s.
Assuming that they were not able to find a new job, the so-called “income crevasse” period, the period where retirees do not have income until they start to receive the national pension, averages 12.5 years.
In order to survive this period, retirees first cut back on spending. Of the respondents, 28.7 percent had to cut living costs, noting that they spent 2.52 million won (US$2,056) a month on average.
This is where the gap between ideals and reality of retirees reveals.
The ideal living cost level they expected averaged between 4 million won and 5 million won, which takes into account basic living expenses, expenses on cash gift-giving culture and leisure expenses.
The problem is that it is difficult to earn this much after retirement. Some 60.5 percent of retirees were having difficulty covering living expenses. Usually, respondents had less assets than they had previously.
Meanwhile, 74 percent of those who said they had no difficulty covering living expenses had at least 500 million won in investments.
The three major concerns for those who retired were medical expenses, the cost of marriage for children, and inflation. These needs cannot be met simply by spending less.
For this reason, 55.1 percent of the retirees looked for a new job or started their own company.
Some 79 percent of retirees said they were reemployed and found a new job within one year of retirement. Meanwhile, 64.8 percent of the re-employed retirees were working in their existing field and other industries.
The biggest difficulty that retirees who participated in the survey felt in the process of reemployment was that the number of jobs suitable for their age was limited.
After retirement, respondents earned a monthly wage of 2.56 million won on average, according to the survey.
Male respondents earned an average of 2.93 million won, higher than that of female respondents, who earned an average of 1.48 million won.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)