Fewer Koreans want to support parents

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Fewer Koreans want to support parents

A recent poll by the Korean Women’s Development Institute revealed that more sons and daughters think their parents should take care of themselves in retirement on their own and shouldn’t expect to be supported by their children.

According to research results released Sunday, 16.6 percent, or 6,142 of the 37,000 people aged more than 15 years old in 2014 said their parents should take care of themselves in retirement. That is 1.7 times higher than the poll results of 2002, where 9.6 percent of the respondents aged more than 15 answered in that way.

On the other hand, 31.5 percent, or 11,655 of respondents aged more than 15 answered that family members should take care of aging parents, while 72.7 percent of the respondents answered that in 2002.

Nearly half the people surveyed also see the responsibility for supporting aging parents as of the society at large: 47.5 percent of those surveyed said it is the common responsibility of the family, government and society to take care of aging parents. Back in 2002, the statistic was only 18.2 percent.

When people over the age of 60 were asked about their living expenses in 2015, 66.6 percent said that they earn them themselves, while 23 percent said they are supported by their children or relatives.

More people are also receiving assistance from government and civic groups. In the same survey, some 10.4 percent of respondents older than 60 answered that they got living expenses via programs from the government and civic organizations. In 2002, only 3.8 percent said so.

The poll results also indicates that parents over 60 are afraid of burdening their children. In 2015, 68.4 percent of those surveyed said that they do not live with their children, whereas in 2005, 59.1 percent said they do not. Of those surveyed in 2015, 39.5 percent said they do not wish to burden their children, while in 2005, 16 percent said the same thing.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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