Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Were They "Trying To Kill Us Off?"

Yesterday I spent the day at a seminar-information morning in the Bituach Le'umi, National Insurance, like American Social Security, offices.  I was one of a maybe a hundred or so newbie Seniors, or vattikim veterans, or gil shlishi, "third age" as we're referred to in Hebrew. 

I now get a monthly old age stipend from the government.  It's not really enough to live on unless one lives in a room in their kid's home and has no real expenses or shares a room in an apartment with others.  OK, there is also a chance to get what they call supplementary income to reach a higher number, but it really isn't much.  Twenty plus years ago, the new immigrants from FSU (former Soviet Union) used to crowd three and four generations into apartment and live on these tiny stipends until they learned Hebrew, saved money and bought much more comfortable apartments, frequently combining mortgages of the clan to cover.

We were told all sorts of tips and encouraged to come to consult with their staff.  It was all very professional.  Most of the time we heard from a man who actually makes money off of it, because he has one of those businesses that goes over your savings and insurance plans explaining the lingo and helping you know what you can change and cancel to save money. 

When he finished the participants grabbed his business cards with more enthusiasm than they showed for the margarine-filled doughy snacks they had put out for us.

The feeling was that since the longer we lived the more it would cost them, maybe the menu had been planned to "kill us off" sooner.


Jennifer in MamaLand said...

Well, mazel tov on reaching the "3rd age!" Keeping away from the government snacks was probably a wise move!!!

Batya said...

Jennifer, I must admit that I tried the "spinach ones" until I realized that I couldn't find much spinach.