14 Aug '11, 7am

Working in old age, out of need

At the crack of dawn, 67-year-old Ong Guat Eng makes her rounds at two block of flats in Yishun with her 72-year-old husband. They sweep corridors and empty the bins at void decks. The couple have been working as cleaners for about 10 years and plan to do it for as long as their health holds up. They have no choice. Their five adult children struggle to support families of their own on low-wage work such as repairing pipes. They scrape together about $100 in allowance for the couple, who get by on the $600 they earn together as cleaners every month. She muses in Hokkien: ‘If I had money, then I wouldn’t need to work.’ New research shows there are thousands of elderly people like her in Singapore, who have little by way of savings and family support and likely have to work till they drop. In fact, about 7 per cent of people above the age of 60 rely solely on work for income...

Full article: http://www.temasekreview.com/2011/08/14/working-in-old-ag...

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