Spending second chapter of life overseas
Koreans in their 50s and 60s have played a crucial role in the economic and cultural growth of the country based on industrial specialties, and their retirement is becoming a social problem. The number of retirees is significant. From January to September 2014, 27,800 employees retired from the top 300 listed companies in terms of revenue. In one company, all 450 employees over age 52 were offered voluntary retirement.
Retirement and reemployment of the baby boomers is not just an individual problem. It is something that our families and society need to resolve together. In fact, their retirement is a burden at a national level. They have accumulated great experiences and knowledge and their retirement means a loss of valuable assets. Their advanced skills and know-how should be utilized.
Unfortunately, it is not easy for retirees in their 50s and 60s to be reemployed in Korea. But there are places where their skills and experiences are desperately needed. The developing countries need the experience in the course of attaining the economic miracle of Korea. The National IT Industry Promotion Agency promotes the World Friends Korea Senior Experts, a program that sends retired professionals to developing countries to transfer skills and experiences of economic development. Since 2010, 349 retired professionals have been sent to 38 countries. Kim Young-sik, a postal service computerization expert, is living the second act of his life. He shared his field experiences and skills at the postal service of Paraguay and served as an adviser for the computerization of the postal system, including postal code system reform.
The overseas program is the second chance in career for the retired professionals. Also, developing countries can learn the know-how of economic and industrial development. Developing countries’ need to learn from Korea’s experience is growing.
The project also contributes to friendly relations between Korea and developing countries. These retired professionals take pride in promoting Korea, and some settle abroad after the assigned project to further pursue business with local companies and government.
Retirees devoted the first half of their careers to workplace and families. In the second half, they share experiences and skills and live youthful lives. It can be a way to live life to the fullest.
by Han Ho-hyun, Head of the Innovative SW Convergence Group of the National IT Industry Promotion Agency