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Nearly 1 million senior citizens have not retired: survey

TAIPEI--A recent survey showed that about 40 percent of Taiwan's senior citizens, or nearly 1 million elderly, continue to work to earn a living, and nearly 70 percent of them lived with their children.

In Taiwan, the retirement age for men and women is 65.

Those who are aged 65 and above chose to stay in the workplace mainly because they still had to take care of their parents, who lived longer because of improved medical care, according to Lo Yu-san, chairman of the Taiwan Grassroots Foundation.

They also wanted to accumulate more savings to take care of their children and grandchildren, Lo said.

Senior citizens who live with their children were most likely to live in Northern Taiwan's Keelung City and the Greater Taipei area, Lo said, adding that was probably due to the high housing prices there.

In rural areas such as Eastern Taiwan's Hualien and Taitung counties, Southern Taiwan's Yunlin and Chiayi counties and Tainan city, senior citizens tended to live alone in their hometown while their offspring worked in bigger cities, Lo said.

The poll also indicated that 80 percent of the families surveyed hoped Taiwan will adopt a law that requires grown children to take care of their parents.

With the low birth rate and the aging population, people who are aged 50 or older were the sandwich generation, experts say. They have to look after their aging parents as well as support their children, said Chung Chih-ming, head of the Office of Research and Development at the Hsing Wu University.

In order to ease their children's burden and save more money, they wanted to continue working even after having reached the retirement age, Chung said.

The foundation commissioned the university to conduct the survey between Nov. 30 and Dec. 10. A total of 1,071 valid responses were collected from families that had senior citizens.

The survey has a confidence level of 95 percent with the margin of error at plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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