America -v- Philippines by Bill Storie
This week the European Football Championships are going on in France. Soccer if you prefer. Hence the “A -v- B” title to my article this week. There’s so much competitive stuff going on these days that it just seemed appropriate to start off with it that way.
Anyhoo, I’m not referring to football, but the differences between the retirement culture in both America and the Philippines, both countries where Olderhood had huge followings. Through various posts and comments on our Facebook pages, over the past three years, we’ve become fairly good at identifying the differences between countries and their aging populations. We started looking for the differences between retirees in various countries, more as a matter of academic interest rather than to prove a point. It’s been very interesting to listen to our followers and read about their concerns and dreams, now in their latter years. In fact, we’ve used some of the research to help us write about retirement issues for those followers approaching retirement – those people still employed who are trying to wander through the issues they expect to face once they retire.
Well we have news for all of you.
There aren’t many, if indeed any, major differences between countries. None. Nada, Zilch.
All of us have the same concerns, by and large, and all of us are facing those issues in pretty much the same way. Some folks have plenty money and can do want they want – they can travel, buy vacation homes etc., while some don’t have as much money, so have to curtail their lifestyles accordingly. But from the money angle, all of us are aware and conscious of what money we have, what income we have, what our expenses are and how long we hope the money will last for through the remaining years of our life. There are no exceptions to this fact. Every single one of us, rich and not so rich, pay close attention to their financial condition.
Then in the health zone we are once again all the same. Whether you live in Manila or Los Angeles, your health faces the same factors. You are in no better health shape if you live in Cebu or if you live in Boise, Idaho. If you are well, you are well. If you are sick, you are sick. Geography means nothing. Granted, in some countries the health system, especially the health insurance structures may be different, and in some places, more through personal circumstances than anything to do with your residence, your health treatments can vary. It may be fair to say that if you have more money you can afford better health care, but our research shows that such a scenario only applies to a miniscule portion of our people. The vast majority of us are controlled in the same manner when it comes to health costs and health care.
So what other differences are there? Let’s turn that around and ask the better question – how many similarities are there?
The answer is pretty much everything that the retirement life has regardless of country or background or character. We are all facing longevity issues, family issues, spousal issues perhaps, some of us are single, some of us are married, some of us live alone, some of us live in retirement communities and on and on. But the fact is that our daily lifestyle concerns are the same the world over. If you are reading this then you have the Internet – you don’t have it simple because you live in the States. You have it because in your country you have access to it and you can afford it. There is no difference. We all enjoy the ability to connect with people around the corner or around the world. We can do it. And the fun part is that when we do connect we discover that the person at the other end of the Facebook page is really not that much different from us. We can converse and share thoughts and worries and pleasures. We can arrange to meet in person, we can share photos, we can chat about grandchildren, and in fact we’re quite similar in reality.
We like to think that the Olderhood Mission is universal. We like to think that the Olderhood Message can be heard and understood in every corner of the world. We always wondered if we would have to adapt the Message depending on which audience we were speaking to, but we haven’t had to do that at all.
One Mission, One Message, One World.
Older, Wiser and Happier.
See you next week.
By Bill Storie