February 07, 2023 12:58
Senior citizens in Seoul now do not consider themselves old until an average age of 72.6, a survey suggests. That could have important ramifications in a country where the official retirement age is still a sprightly 65.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government surveyed 3,010 senior citizens from June to August of last year as part of a biennial survey that began in 2012.
Respondents overwhelmingly said the cutoff point for old age should be much higher than the law says, to the point where the city is now considering raising the age for free subway passes from 65 to 70. Most respondents said the start of old age should be anywhere between 70 and 80, and only 14.9 percent said it starts at 60 to 69.
The proportion of senior citizens with jobs increased to 41.6 percent last year after falling briefly to 30.5 percent in 2020, and more importantly the proportion of elderly people who want to keep working has risen to 30.1 percent.
Changing attitudes are driven by necessity as well as better health and longer life expectancy. The average household income of senior citizens is W2.72 million (US$1=W1,253).
Meanwhile, 83.7 percent of senior citizens in Seoul use smartphones.
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