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Living on a pension: how to survive?

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In the early years, it seems that retirement is so far away; still an immediate break from merry-go-round of life is badly needed. When will it finally happen, when would it be possible to live "for yourself"? And here it is, the moment of retirement, but mostly it brings you only uneasiness and anxiety ... It is also difficult from financial point of view as most people's pensions are so scanty, that is not enough for essential needs not mentioning a dignified existence. But it becomes even more difficult because pensioners suffer from loneliness. Is there a way out of this difficult situation or pensioners must simply come to terms with the fact that their life is rolling down to the end?


It is clear that in the best financial positions are those who get the opportunity to hold the office even after reaching the retirement age. If you get such an opportunity, then use it. But pay attention to the fact that your health conditions also must be taken into consideration. If there is no strength to stay with your previous company, it's not worth to think it’s too late to go for a retraining course and to master some new activities. Do not refuse any benefits provided by the state, use them to the maximum, no matter what.

You should remember that retirement is only another stage of life. Today, there are so many ways to support yourself financially, when being in this new status. There are some easy accessible ways to deal with it, for instance, participation in the state schemes of co-financing of your future pension or joining a non-governmental pension fund. The first way will allow to increase the size of the state pension, the other one to gain a second, non-governmental pension. But if something happened and you did not secure yourself before you had gone into retirement, thus your earned pension is not big enough, then there are some other opportunities to improve your difficult financial situation.

Start with what you had wanted, what you had dreamt of for a long time, or what you liked to do earlier, but there always has been a lack of time. Perhaps you can  knit wonderful things, sew, draw, photograph. Or you have a little farm, your own greenhouse or apiary. Try to use this hobbies as a source of additional income. Even if it does not bring a significant profit, it will help you cope with depression and boredom.

Another option is a part time job at home or work in the Internet. If you are good at computers, have a certain knowledge of programming, desire to learn and experience new things, try to create your own website. Your rich life experience along with your creativity will allow you to do it easily . Perhaps not immediately, but in a few months, this work will certainly bring good results. You can try, for example, to write articles, poems, to do translations. You can sell them on the text exchange, where  you could possibly find a regular customer. In this case, earnings will become more appreciable and more stable.

If you are not sure about your ability to master modern technology, there are other options. For example, you can become a manager or an operator at home. You can find a job of a porter, cloakroom attendant at a theatre or ticket collector. Pensioners are very welcome to fill positions of home service staff. A nanny, governess, tutor (especially if there is a degree in Pedagogy), maid, gardener - these are the areas where employers increasingly rely on elderly people.

For socially active pensioners it might be a good opportunity to earn money when working as a leaflet spreader. This work will not only improve your financial situation, but also fill a lack of communication; in addition, your part-time employment will leave some time for the grandchildren.

Pensioners with dealer's eye are recommended to open interest circles , studios, health groups , to organize tours for their peers. Being in retirement, you can also start some kind of business, for example, network marketing. The main thing is to stay vigilant and never fall for conmen's tricks, for whom pensioners are a “tasty morsel”.

And most importantly, never despair! Fill your life with positive emotions. In the new status of a pensioner you can do things you really find interesting. Do not hesitate to learn new  things : dancing, playing a musical instruments, learning foreign languages. Retirement is not the end of one's life, but only a transition to another level.

 Dana Sulymenko

Special Correspondent of the UARP.

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