Respect for the Elderly

Good morning everyone,

There's no change in the forecast-it's going to continue to be warm and sunny for the rest of the week and then it's looking it's going to cloud over and we may see some rain on the weekend. Highs will continue to hover in the mid to high 20s.

So, today is Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. That means everyone out there who is younger than me had better be nice to me today...ha ha! Of course, that means that I also have to be nice to everyone older than me today...which is unfortunately a lot of people. In light of today's holiday, let's look at some info about Japan's elderly population.

The number of people in Japan aged 80 or older topped 10 million for the first time as of Tuesday, a government estimated released Sunday showed. The number rose by 380,000 from a year before to 10.02 million, accounting for 7.9 percent of the country’s total population. Can you believe that there are over 10 million people in Japan who are over 80?! Think about it, they would fill a city about 10 times bigger than Hiroshima. It's more than the population of Sweden or Hungary. It's higher than the populations of Ireland and New Zealand combined!

If we count all of the 'elderly in Japan-my definition of elderly is anyone of retirement age-the new one, 65, the number of people represented grows by a huge amount. In Japan, the population aged 65 or older grew by 890,000 to a record of 33.84 million, or 26.7 percent of the total. They included 14.62 million men and 19.21 million women. Now if you didn't 10 million people over 80 was a lot, you have to admit that almost 34 million people at retirement age is huge. If you put them all together and made a new country, they would immediately be the 38th most populous country in the world, just behind Canada. So basically, the number of people in Japan who are at retirement age is the same as the entire population of Canada. That's incredible! But they aren't all just going fishing or playing golf, the number of people aged 65 or older with jobs totaled 6.81 million last year, rising by 450,000 from the previous year in the 11th straight year of increase. The proportion of these elderly people with jobs came in at 29.3 percent for men and 14.3 percent for women. So, women, no more complaining about the men being lazy! Ha ha!

But we don't need to feel sorry for the elderly-especially the ones who whinge about not having enough money. Households led by elderly people had ¥24.99 million in savings on average last year, up ¥1.22 million from the previous year. Which is, of course, why I always whinge about them getting discounts. They've got more money than they know what to do with.

Hmmm...maybe I should start a crowdfunding campaign in Japan to help me reach my dream of having a farm back in Canada and doing 'farm stays' for people from all over the world. Of course the downside is that if I ask elderly people to help me get started, I'd need to offer them a 'Senior Discount'...ha ha!

Have a great day!

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