June 20, 2011

KOREA: Elderly Koreans Stay Young at Heart

SEUOL / The Chosunilbo / News / June 20, 2011

File Photo courtesy: Korea Herald

Almost seven in 10 Koreans aged between 40 and 69 believe they are not old enough to rank as senior citizens, according to a poll jointly conducted by Kyobo Life Insurance and Senior Partners, a portal for elderly citizens.

The survey, which highlights Koreans' young-at-heart mentality, was carried out on 1,000 people in this age group who have a monthly income of W1 million or more (US$1=W1,087). The results were published last week.

According to the results, 544, or 54.4 percent, said they would consider someone as a senior citizen only if they are between 70 and 74. Another 144 people, or 14.4 percent, said they would consider 75 as the threshold. This means that 688 people, or 68.8 percent of those polled, do not feel that 60 equates to the mantle of "senior citizen." Only 47 respondents believed that those in the 60-64 age bracket could be considered so.

Their psychological understanding of their own age was also much younger than anticipated. One in two said they feel at least six years younger than they are, while 369 perceived themselves as 6 to 10 years younger, and 166 people said they feel 11 to 15 years more youthful.

However, many were not set up financially for their retirement. The respondents showed average savings of W100 million, although three times this amount is considered necessary to see them through their twilight years.

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