Tuesday, 16 January 2018

What You Need to Know about Retirement in Israel

I have had the opportunity to visit a few assisted living residences for seniors. The first detail that stands out is, you have to be really wealthy in order to be a pensioner. Yes the facilities offer services to clean your apartment and they have activities, but the expense is far more than the cost of a basic apartment. What is the lesson here?

Actually there are a few lessons to learn.

1) Needs of Senior Citizens:

When a person reaches retirement age, many needs arise. For those who lack family or social support, living in a residence where various activities are prepared and available becomes appealing. This enables a pensioner to enjoy interacting with people of their own age group. It means that the pensioner can engage in events, groups and activities that meet their needs without having to travel far.

A person who is a pensioner, often has the need for other assistance such as house cleaning, availability of healthcare etc

2) Planning required for Retirement:

Though some may want to remain independent in their own home once they reach their more senior years, it wont be possible for everyone. For those who require moving to an assisted living facility, it is important to know that there are many costs involved. The pensioner will have to pay rent and services. Some packages require paying a hefty deposit upfront and then paying monthly services. This hefty deposit can be NIS 1.5 million. Or, they can pay NIS 50 000 deposit plus rent and services. The types of rent I am hearing of so far range from NIS 5000 - NIS 20 000. 

Quite clearly, these kinds of figures are going to require very nice pension plans. In order to prepare adequately for one's pension one has to earn well during one's younger years. This indicates very clearly that earning minimum wage is not a good idea. It is important to earn a salary that will enable you to plan and prepare for your retirement appropriately.

3) Important Lesson to Glean From These Residences:

Ever since I made Aliyah, people love to say that no-one in Israel has money and hence I can not charge for any services. Now this piece of information does not match up with the residences I am seeing. Let's take a look at this a little further.

If there are residences that are mostly full with seniors able to pay a hefty deposit, plus at least NIS 10 000 a month if not double that, then there are people in Israel earning very nicely. Let's be honest here, this is monthly payment that does not include one's transport, toiletries etc. Also keep in mind, they are not replenishing their bank account. This is coming from their pension or life savings. If someone is paying minimum NIS 10 000 a month, they can not have been earning around NIS 5000 a month. To me I look at this information and learn that there absolutely is money in Israel. So for those wanting to work privately, go ahead and do so. The question now is not there is no-one who can afford private services but rather where are those who can afford to pay.

Personally, we as a greater community here in Israel have a responsibility to reframe our thinking towards earning. The strong habit of pushing Olim into minimum wage is leading to a pattern that will have very damaging consequences. There already is a high level of poverty. What will be when the younger generation who earns only minimum wage reaches retirement? The small amount that Bituach Leumi offers does not even cover a basic rent. It certainly wont enable a pensioner to live in the kind of residences I am finding here.

In summary:
Don't be put off by those who have limited thinking wanting to keep you down by insisting you earn minimum wage and nothing more. Know that there is money in Israel and do your homework to find out how and where you can earn better. Know also that there are lots of opportunities to earn now thanks to the development of technology, especially the internet.

Next, understand that in order to retire you are going to need to have a really good pension. So start planning early on. Don't wait until you reach retirement age and discover you have no pension.

And lastly, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, don't be put off. Do your market research and make sure to structure your services to those who can afford private rates or to purchase your products if you create products.

In short, knowledge, planning and preparation enable you to put in the effort to create the life that you need and deserve.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Yerushalayim Sheli - My Jerusalem, a Song

Since we love Yerushalayim, here is a fun song to listen to. The words are simple Hebrew and it is a wonderful way to learn or improve your Hebrew. Yerushalayim Sheli - my Jerusalem or written correctly:
ירושלים שלי

If you would like to improve your reading, the lyrics are included below the video:

ירושלים שלי
מילים: דן אלמגור
לחן: נורית הירש

אמר הרוכל ממזכרת משה:
ירושלים שלי
היא מחנה יהודה בערב חגים
שבת של "פפיטס", קללות נהגים
וחומוס של רחמו וריח דגים
וחומוס של רחמו וריח דגים,
כביסה על הכביש ומקלחת מדלי

ירושלים, ירושלים,
ירושלים שלי.
ירושלים שלי...

אמר הסנדרל משכונת קטמון:
ירושלים שלי
הוא שבע שנים של גשמים בבלוקון
שיכון בלי חנות, אוטובוס בלי חשבון
שיכון בלי חנות, אוטובוס בלי חשבון,
שבת - הצגה ראשונה באוריון
גם קטמון ג' היא בשבילי

ירושלים שלי...

אמר הבלן ממאה שערים:
ירושלים שלי
היא שטריימל שחור וספרים אפורים
ו"בת ישראל לא תלך בקצרים"
ו"בת ישראל לא תלך בקצרים",
היא לחש תפילה לימים אחרים
לא כאן, כי למעלה קורצת היא לי

ירושלים שלי...

אמר הצעיר שם ליד שער שכם:
ירושלים שלי
היא צלב על חנות, ושוטרים בחצות
אחות שהלשינה ובור עם פצצות
אחות שהלשינה ובור עם פצצות,
מצעד עצמאות, וידיים קפוצות,
"יס סר! ווט, קבב, אור שישליק?"

ירושלים שלי...

אמר החייל מאשדות יעקב
ירושלים שלי
הייתי בה פעם בבוקר של שכול
סימטה וצלף בצריח משמאל
מאז לא חזרתי פשוט לא יכול
אבנר וגדי - שניהם בשבילי
ירושלים שלי.
I hope you enjoy both the song and the words.

Have a wonderful rest of your day

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What To Do If Your Dog Bites?

I received a comment on our guest post "Dogs and the Law in Israel". Before publishing it or accepting it, I decided to do some fact finding. The truth is that the comment requires more than a one or two line answer and hence I am making a post about it.

Here is the comment sent in by an anonymous reader of our blog:
 "Our dog has a history of biting strangers. Our dog has been quarentiened 2 times now because of it. Today he bit someone and the police got involved. Will the police put him down like they do in America? Hes a border collie so he isn't a harmful breed. He only attacks when he feels threatened and only to strangers. We don't know what to do anymore."

After doing some fact finding, I still don't have all the answers but here are a few:

1) A dog who bites people is a dangerous dog no matter what the breed is. As a result in answer to your comment that your dog is a border collie, that is irrelevant. The fact remains that your dog is dangerous and you need to take steps to protect others and your dog.

2) Taking care of a dog is both a responsibility and an expense. If you lack the expense to properly care for your dog, then it is best for all concerned to find another home for the dog. If you do have the funds, then it is your responsibility to do whatever it takes to make sure that your dog will not bite anyone, including strangers. Firstly this means that whenever you walk your dog, it is your responsibility to put a muzzle on the dog. Secondly, you need to take your dog to dog training lessons which may or may not help. You can ask the dog trainers for further advise regarding this problem.

3) Owning a dog that is dangerous is a problem in Israel both by Torah law and by secular law and the responsibility is on you to remedy the situation. 

4) If your dog has bitten already, the chances are that things will only get worse, meaning the dog will bite again unless you take steps to remedy the situation.

5) In a legal group I networked in to try to find some answers, there was some consensus that it is irresponsible that the dog has bitten more than once. 

I am not a lawyer and can not answer what will happen with your dog. I can say that a dog bit is very painful and can be harmful. Dogs have strong teeth and powerful jaws. I would recommend turning to an organization such as the Israeli SPCA or your vet. Also find legal assistance.

For anyone else reading this blog post, please be aware that having a pet is a responsibility and up to you to take care of your pet in the best possible way to ensure health and safety both for your pet and for others.

I trust you take the appropriate measures to take care of your dog or other pet.  


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