Couple on the beach in Herzliya.
(photo credit: NORA MIHAYLOVA)
Jewish Israelis overwhelmingly say they would prefer to spend their twilight years abroad, though the poorest see Israel as their only home, according to a study carried out by Chasdei Nomi, an anti-poverty NGO.
According to the survey released Tuesday, just 28 percent of Israelis said Israel was the best place to grow old, in terms of economic welfare and dignified living, while 60% said they would prefer a Western European country such as Germany, Switzerland or Holland, and 12% picked the United States as the place they would choose to retire.
Israel treats its elderly “as if they were nothing,” Chasdei Nomi said in a statement.
But the trend was different among varying demographics in the country.
For example, only 20% of those earning above the average wage thought Israel was the best option for retiring. Among those with below-average earnings, the proportion was 44% – more than double their wealthy counterparts.
Those close to the retirement age of 67 for men also favored Israel as the best place to grow old – 38% of those over the age of 50, as compared with 23% of those between 18-29.
The desire to stay in Israel was strongest among those living in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, but still stood at only 35%. In Tel Aviv and the center, it was the lowest at 25%.
Similarly, secular people were more likely to want to retire abroad; just 13% of secular Israelis said they hoped to grow old in Israel, as opposed to 56% of religious people.
The survey was conducted among 500 individuals over the age of 18 in a sample that is representative of Israel’s Jewish population. The margin of error was 4.5%.