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Reliant on help from friends: Retired woman has worked full-time all her life and still can't make ends meet


Highlights: Almost a quarter of people over 80 (22.4 percent) are affected by old-age poverty. Retired woman has worked full-time all her life and still can't make ends meet. Friends or family need to help. New law for television reception 2024: Tenants are no longer tied to a TV connection. Parking offender reads traffic sign incorrectly – and receives 55 euro fine. More and more people can no longer afford a balanced meal with meat, fish or a vegetarian alternative every other day.

As of: February 21, 2024, 7:23 p.m

By: Vivian Werg




More and more people of retirement age are at risk of poverty.

Many people can no longer make a living on their own.

Friends or family need to help.

Berlin – Old-age poverty is a growing problem in Germany.

According to the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), almost a quarter of people over 80 (22.4 percent) are affected.

This emerged from a study “Old age in Germany” funded by the Federal Ministry for Senior Citizens (as of December 2021).

A pension expert explains what changes need to be made in Germany to make pensions future-proof.

The case of a woman from Berlin shows how needy retired women in particular sometimes really are.

Worked full-time her entire working life: pension is still not enough to live on

According to the study, the proportion of poor women over 80 was almost ten percent higher than men.

“This shows how significantly lower pay, but also longer part-time work and interruptions in working life have an impact on the lives of women in later years,” says Federal Senior Minister Anne Spiegel, explaining the background.

But inflation also reduces the purchasing power of future pensions.

But even people who have worked full-time all their lives often cannot make ends meet with their pension.

This also applies to the pensioner from Berlin-Neukölln.

According to Focus,

the 81-year-old

worked as a dental assistant and earned 1,200 German marks net at the time.

Unlike many other women, she did not switch to part-time work when her son was born and has worked full-time her entire professional life.

An 81-year-old pensioner from Berlin has worked full-time her entire life - and cannot make ends meet without help.

Studies show that many women feel the same way as they get older.

(Symbolic photo) © Imago

After deducting her fixed costs, the 81-year-old now only has 300 euros per month to spend freely.

Without the financial support of family members and friends, the senior says she would generally not be able to pay for medication, food or household goods.

“These existential fears affect every day,” says the 81-year-old.

Many people in Germany are experiencing the same situation as you.

Social poverty often follows financial hardship

She topped up her pension with various mini-jobs.

“But the older I get, the more difficult it becomes,”


quotes the pensioner.

According to the Malteser Relief Service, poverty means much more than just money worries.

“Those who lack money often also lack security and social participation.”

Without additional financial resources, a balanced diet or comprehensive medical care is difficult.

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A survey by the Statistical Office of the European Union (Eurostat) has shown that over the past year fewer and fewer people have been able to afford a balanced meal with meat, fish or a vegetarian alternative at least every other day.

Those affected often withdraw out of shame and become isolated.

“This form of social poverty can be compounded by the loss of friends or other loved ones.

Loneliness and social isolation also increase the risk of illness, while life expectancy decreases,” the aid service continues.

It is therefore important to counteract loneliness in old age at an early stage.

Affected by poverty in old age: You can get help at these points

For people of retirement age affected by poverty, there is also the option of housing benefit or basic security.

This is intended to help if your monthly financial needs are higher than your own income including all assets.

However, a couple of pensioners voluntarily gave up their basic security out of pride.

Those affected can also contact welfare and senior citizens' associations.

Tafel also support many seniors throughout Germany in barrier-free senior cafes.

Those affected can contact the following helpful advisory institutions:

  • General social advice from Caritas:

    Caritas experts provide support and advice with social problems in old age.

  • Social association VdK:

    The social association supports people in need of help.

    He helps with all social law issues such as pensions, care, health, rehabilitation, reduced earning capacity or the recognition of a disability.

  • AWO care and senior citizen advice:

    The Arbeiter-Wohlfahrt (AWO) offers advice for seniors online and by telephone and also has a wide range of help options.

The Malteser also supports very old people nationwide with various offers through the “Together-For-Each-Other: Contact and Community in Old Age” project funded by the BMFSFJ. 


Source: merkur

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