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“What have I worked for for 45 years?”: Pensioner can’t afford to go to a café


Highlights: “What have I worked for for 45 years?’: Pensioner can’t afford to go to a café. Around half of those over 65 are at risk. In Germany, one in three women receives less than 1,000 euros in pension. Women are disproportionately affected by poverty in old age. Many people who rely on social benefits, there is a harsh stigma attached to them. But the pensioner has also to admit to herself: “But if it doesn’n’T work, then it doesn't’ work”

As of: February 21, 2024, 10:55 p.m

By: Nico Reiter




Although she has worked full-time for 45 years, a pensioner from Regensburg can barely stay afloat.

She relies on food banks and housing benefit.

Regensburg – She would like to give her grandson more pocket money.

Unfortunately, the budget is not enough for a pensioner from Regensburg.

She is one of many people affected by poverty in old age.

This danger is becoming a reality for more and more Germans despite the planned pension increase in the summer.

Almost half of those over 65 are at risk.

Especially in cities with high costs of living, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live solely on pensions.

A person affected speaks about her situation

in an interview with the

Mittelbayerische Zeitung .

Full time for 45 years - and yet the pension isn't even enough to go to a café

The 71-year-old pensioner lives in Regensburg.

She worked full-time for over four decades, first as a kindergarten teacher and later at Siemens VDO and Continental.

After this long career, her pension is only 1,220 euros per month.

In Germany, one in three women receives less than 1,000 euros in pension.

On average, the pension for women in Upper Palatinate is 772 euros, while men receive 1,266 euros per month, according to the

Mittelbayerische Zeitung


Women are therefore disproportionately affected by poverty in old age.

Federal State

Average men

Average women

Throughout Germany

1728 euros

1316 euros


1732 euros

1278 euros


1830 euros

1293 euros


1785 euros

1322 euros


1743 euros

1281 euros

(Source: German Pension Insurance, 2023)

Since the pensioner from Regensburg had to financially support two children and later her mother, she was unable to invest in a private pension plan.

“There’s no money left to save,” she says.

She uses her pension for rent, electricity, broadcasting fees, insurance and cat food for her cat Charly.

At the end of the month she has nothing left.

Without facilities like the Tafel, she would not be able to make ends meet.

There she receives food, care products and occasional sweets for her grandson, which she is particularly happy about.

A visit to a café is difficult for the woman to finance (symbolic image) © giovannini/Imago

“What have I worked for for 45 years?” asks the 71-year-old.

She has to forego a lot of things in her free time.

“It’s not possible for me to go to a café,” she says.

“When my former work colleagues on the Dult [note.


Red. “Fairn”]

or meet in the beer garden, I have to make up an excuse or just drink some water." The pensioner's financial worries also put a social strain on her, and she often prefers to stay at home.

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Entitlement to housing benefit despite pension?

– Social benefits often associated with shame

In order to improve her situation, the pensioner has now decided to apply for housing benefit.

Around half of all housing benefit recipients are pensioners, according to

Die Zeit.

Only one in three people who would be entitled to housing benefit takes advantage of the offer.

Many pensioners would rather earn extra money through mini-jobs than accept help from the state.

The reasons that speak against it are often linked to shame.

Although more and more older people rely on social benefits, there is a harsh stigma attached to them.

Many people who have worked hard and been self-employed all their lives do not want to be a burden in old age.

But the pensioner also has to admit to herself: “But if it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work.”


The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model for optimization at his own discretion.

All information has been carefully checked.

Find out more about our AI principles here.

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2024-02-21

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