Shanghai, China: This country is also experiencing retirement problems for its citizens, forcing them to find ways to support themselves. The older population in China is growing so rapidly that by the year 2050, more than 33% will be over the age of 60 years old. With millions of Chinese people currently needing to collect pensions, this is a problem with no solutions in site.

A main contributor to the issue is China’s low retirement age. With women able to collect after just age 50, almost 20% all Chinese workers are retirees. It is estimated by the year 2025, 64% of all Chinese workers will be retired.

The current pension system is under a tremendous amount of strain and is very flawed. Pensioners can receive any where between $82 – $750 per month, and there really is not any factors to what someone will get or if they will even get it. Regardless of what they receive, it is not enough to support them. So the aging Chinese retirees are finding new ways to earn an income and more importantly, survive.

According to sources, there are currently over 2.5 million citizens working in the “Informal Waste Management Sector” of China. These workers rummage through trash in search for recyclables and other things to sell. Tourist will often see countless elderly Chinese hunting through the garbage in the major metropolitan areas.


Over 50% of the retired Chinese citizens have not and will not receive any form of their pension. The program is estimated to be in a $2.9 trillion deficit and that number will rise to over $10 trillion in just over a decade, if changes are not made. So why hasn’t pensions been a problem in the past?

As apart of the core values of Chinese culture, traditionally the elderly are cared for and supported by their child. However with the 1 child rule enforced by the Chinese Government, many older Chinese never had a child or has passed away before them. This obviously makes it very difficult and almost impossible for the aging Chinese to live on.

Although China has a form of universal health care, the system is also stretched too thin and everything must be paid for upfront. With rapidly rising healthcare costs, many Chinese with unavoidable health care needs, do not have enough money. So millions of Chinese are literally trading in recyclables in order to finance surgeries and other healthcare necessitates.


It is definitely sad to hear the conditions of the pension program in China, however it is a positive that materials that would normally end up in a landfill are being properly recycled by these retirees. On the other side of the coin it is unfortunate that there are enough materials not recycled to provide income for over 2.5 million people.

This is a problem that could easily be a reality in the United States. It is important to save money now to be comfortable in the future. If you are interesting in saving money by throwing your unwanted materials away, contact Budget Dumpster now!