Russians are not prepared for old age
This was the conclusion reached by Bupa International from surveys undertaken in 12 countries between 10 and 14 July 2010. They surveyed people over the age of 50. People in India turned out to be the best prepared for old age: 71% of those questioned had adequate savings. In China 33% had money set aside for their old age, and in Brazil – 7 %. Russians were at the bottom of the index: two thirds – 66% – had no savings at all. A third (31%) said that they were not worried about their old age, while 27% said they had not even thought about it. Nearly everyone – 98% of Russians – thought that the state system of support for the elderly needed to be improved; 37% thought that the state should support elderly people on low incomes, while 41% were convinced that the state should fund medical care for everyone. However, only 8% of respondents believed that the state would care for them in their old age. Despite the fact that two thirds had no savings, 49% thought they would use their own money in retirement.
The medical director of Bupa International, Doctor Snekh Kkhemka (phon.) considers that it is a good thing that Russians are optimistic about their old age. On the other hand, the director is concerned that so few Russians have thought about who will look after them in their old age. The research shows that the present institution of the family is changing – if people think that their relatives will look after them, they are not being serious, in particular if they fall seriously ill or suffer from dementia.
The head of the regional social foundation for the elderly “Good Deed”, gerontologist Edward Karyukhin, said that over the past ten years family links have weakened, because of migration for employment reasons and the inability of young people to support their parents, etc. He said that the defining document concerning problems caused by the increasing number of people living to a great age is the Madrid International Plan for Old Age, adopted in 2002. It provides recommendations to governments and to legislatures; and anticipates that the voluntary sector will play a major role. “All countries which have adopted the Madrid Plan are constantly monitoring its implementation. In Russia no-one is doing this”, said Doctor Karyukhin.