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[ By | 5 Jun 2009 | 2 Comments ]

For all too many of China’s seniors today, work life does not exactly glide into a blissful or even comfortable retirement. Ideas of relaxing holidays and peaceful independence still, in many cases, remain the stuff of dreams because workers hit the mandatory retirement age (55 for women, 60 for men) without having the luxury to stop working. For some this means taking up a second job in their retirement while for others, it means hoping their children will ultimately choose to care for them when health problems and infirmities kick in.

For Zhang Yuan, 55, retirement was a light at the end of the tunnel. She started working at a children’s clothing store in the near Nan Liu Gu Xiang in central Beijing after she officially retired from an administrative job at a local supermarket three months ago. “This job is a lot better,” said Zhang.

Although Zhang is 34 years older than her employer, she does not mind working for the young entrepreneur. The extra money Zhang earns finances her daughter’s college degree in multimedia design.