Most Korean Elderly Couples Work to Earn a Living

Cari Pak, Nov. 9, 2017, 11:47 a.m.

Nearly 70 percent of the elderly have to earn their own income without any assistance from their children. According to a survey released by Statistics Korea on Tuesday, a whopping 69.9 percent of elderly couples earn their own living, up 8.6 percentage points from 2007 and an all-time high.

Only 20.2 percent, or one in five, get support from children or relatives, down a drastic 14 percentage points from 10 years ago. Most, or 54.2 percent, earn their income from work, followed by pension or retirement payouts (28.1 percent) and property income (10.3 percent).

"Over the past few years, the younger generation has been gripped by worries about employment or job stability and the elderly are suffering hardships," Statistics Korea said.

Many baby boomers born between 1955 and 1963, who have been relatively financially stable, have recently reached pensionable age. Among people between 60 and 64, 88.4 percent pay their own way, mostly by working. Some 65.4 percent of adults said they are preparing for their old age, which suggests that the rest still do not. About 53.3 percent of them said they will rely on national pension payouts.

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