Yesterday I had lunch with a good friend of many years. He’s Canadian (not his fault though !!) who has lived here in Bermuda for over 30 years. He is still not a citizen, although his kids are. He’s getting up there in years, so the “R-Word’ is creeping into discussions these days.
“My options are to downsize and live here in a somewhat moderate lifestyle, or go back to Canada and live well. My brother can live comfortably on $3,000 a month.”
He rents here, so between rent, health insurance, utilities and groceries, he reckons he needs US $100,000 a year to survive in retirement i.e. no working income.
I fully understand that we have thousands of Olderhood Followers reading this, who will be stunned by that figure. Yes, Bermuda is an expensive place. I take no pleasure from stating that number because it is what it is. The cost of living can swing dramatically from one place to another, and these are the costs of living here.
The conversation actually made me take a closer look at the so-called “retirement crisis” around the world. Frightening, to be honest.
I won’t go into country by country details but there are countless numbers of nations where citizens are struggling to keep up with the financial climate changes. Pension income from the State is wobbly, private pensions have been decimated by the financial crisis and low interest rates, part-time work is hard to find … and the cost of living increases year over year. Just check health care costs!!!
I came across this info-piece :-
Mikio Fukushima, who is 52 and lives in Tokyo, is typical of those facing an uncertain retirement. Fukushima, who works in private investment, worries that he might have to move somewhere cheaper, maybe Malaysia, after age 70 to get by comfortably on income from his investments and a public pension of just $10,000 a year. If he stayed in Japan, he says, “We wouldn’t be able to travel at all.”
Over the next few weeks I will try to research more of these stories and share them with you. They may help, they may not. But at least, I hope, they may show that, (a) you are not alone in this “crisis”, and (b) that there are millions of people around the world who are as concerned as you are (or should be).
On a lighter, and happier note, we crossed a major threshold a few days ago, of over 20,000 Olderhood Fans around the world. The mix of cultures, ethnic groups, male and female, is illuminating. People of different backgrounds, who, perhaps, would never have met other “Oldsters” in different countries, are coming together in amazing harmony. The camaraderie is impacting many lives and encouraging cross-cultural discourse. Great.
Have a nice weekend wherever you are.
When your joints are more accurate than the weatherman’s,
you know you’re getting older!