As Korean society ages, more elderly people fall into poverty simply because their retirement savings cannot last for the decades they still have to live.


Statistics Korea data show that the average life expectancy of Korean men aged 60 rose from 75.6 in 1990 to 82.4 in 2014 and for women from 80.3 to 87.4. And Korean men who are now 41 are expected to live until the age of 84.4, and women until 88.5.


That means people who retire now need to save up enough money to keep them going for some 15 years more than previous generations.

Analysis by NH Investment and Securities shows Korean men aged 60 two years ago needed W129 million more for their twilight years than if they had reached that age in 1990 (US$1=W1,105).


No wonder then that Korea ranks highest in the OECD in terms of the number of senior citizens who still work to earn money.


Korea's employment rate among people aged 65 or above stands at 30.6 percent, second only to Iceland (38.7 percent) and No. 1 when it comes to people over 75.

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