Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Germany is a country sympathetic towards old men

I thought that while I was over here in Germany, I'd do a bit of research on old people over here.

I find that, in a population of 82 million, 1 in 4 are over 60 and that after Japan and Italy, Germany has the third largest population of old people in the world. Apparently, the majority lead independent lives and live close to their children. They set themselves new goals and actively make use of their leisure time.

Financially they are taken care of because the 1957 Pension Reform gave them a full share of the nation's wealth. Poverty in old age in Germany has not been done away with, but being poor in old age is lower than that of other age groups.

Having said this, the retirement age for the state pension has recently been raised to 67,in order to avert a future pension crisis as Germans live longer.

What I found most interesting was the concept of the multi-generational house. In 460 districts and municipalities, families can get help and advice if they want set set up one of these houses. The idea is simple. There are strong emotional bonds between grown up children and their parents and grandparents and grandchildren, so why not get them living under one roof ?

With that kind of reasoning, Germany 'sounds' like a country sympathetic towards old men.

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