• Preparation for Retirement and Managing the Retirement Process

    Background

    70,000 Israeli's reach the age of retirement each year. This amount will double in the coming two decades.

    Research shows that retirement is one of the most stressful life events. With the average life expectancy of older adults in Israel being 87 years old, for those that reach the age of 65, the average pensioner is facing at least two decades of retirement years.

    Along with the emotional, psychological and financial implications of retiring, an older adult is required to make numerous significant decisions that will impact this next stage in their life. Many older adults find it difficult to understand entitlement benefits and have a limited understanding of their available options. 

    Once workers reach the mandatory retirement age in Israel, 62 for women and 67 for men, they have a wide range of possible income sources. These include continued employment, National Insurance Institute pensions, supplemental government support, private pension funds, and other private sources. Retirees must also manage increased spending which may include healthcare costs, familial (children) support, bills, and individual expenses. These complex choices create stress and anxiety, which could lead to uninformed decisions significantly affecting the future and well-being of the retiree. At worst, it can cause them to slide into poverty.

    Despite the importance of assisting and supporting older adults at this crucial stage in life, the Government of Israel has not set a clear policy nor has it invested resources to assist future retirees. Few services exist to help workers with retirement planning. Those that are available are offered to workers with high incomes or employees of large private companies.

    Need

    Increased awareness as well as emotional and psychological preparation of older adults on the importance of planning for retirement. No economically accessible public framework exists that enables older adults to prepare for their retirement.

    Financial literacy skills that will assist retirees in making sound financial decisions and prevent them from sliding into poverty.

    Program

    The program is developing a streamlined approach to retirement planning - including retirement preparation conferences and workshops. These function as a first step in the process to develop a full sequence of services.

    As of 2019, the program will operate out of Eshel's Guidance Centers that are currently being developed throughout the country - providing information, guidance, and advice to retirees about how to navigate their retirement years.  The program will assist retirees in mapping their income sources, planning their financial needs and budgeting for unexpected scenarios, while strengthening their mental preparedness and offering support groups.