On Poetry and Culture Shock


I don’t know if this is clever or creepy. Or both. I have been told a bit about a way in which Americans go into housing complexes for old people (whatever the politically correct denomination may be). I’m not sure I’m getting the details right, but this is the idea:

Old people sell their house to (or through) an insurance company, and that money is used to pay that type of housing for them, with assistance if needed. Like all insurance policies, it’s risky on both sides. If the old person takes many years to die, the insurance company invested more than it gets back. If they don’t take many years to die, the old people’s heirs have lost their claim on the house.

Elderly Spaniards rarely go into housing. It’s not part of our tradition because we rely more on the extended family, and it is very hard to find housing you can trust. In Europe, the idea is that the Government is responsible, either to provide housing or to watch private providers very closely, and every year you get the occasional horror story in the news about bad food or hygiene. Considering that the real estate market in Spain keeps putting up the prices and that young people are desperate to buy houses, this American scheme isn’t colder or more calculating than ordinary life insurance and it might be one possible solution to two Spanish problems. However, I don't see Spaniards trusting the idea. 

0 comentarios