Life Begins at 70: Older South Koreans Find New Jobs, Abilities
When Kim Chil-doo was young, he says, he wanted to be a model. But he gave up that idea to make money. Now, at age 65, he appears in television advertisements and fashion magazines. With his gray beard and long hair, he is South Korea's first senior model.
Kim told Reuters news service he is happy he started a new job. "Being a model is really fun," he says. "Senior? It's just a label."
Kim is one of many older people in South Korea – the country has the world's fastest growing ageing population. Almost half of the country's older people live in poverty. Some take low-paying jobs to support themselves after retiring. But Kim and some other seniors have shown how older South Koreans can find unusual job opportunities later in life.
Now, an increasing number of South Korean seniors are taking modeling classes, becoming YouTube stars or teaching Korean to K-pop music fans in other countries.
"Elderly customers have become big players"
You Sung-lae is 59. When she was a child, she wanted to be an actress. But instead, she says, she got married and had children.
Now she is training to appear on a catwalk to show clothes. On the day she spoke to Reuters, she was wearing a bright blue jacket, orange high heeled shoes and designer sunglasses.
"Learning modeling feels like reviving my youth," she says.
You is also helping the fashion business by attracting older buyers. A spokesperson for the country's largest department store chain, Lotte, told Reuters that older buyers "have become big players."
While many older people do not have much money, others have bought their homes and built savings. Now, the spokesperson said, those seniors are ready to spend some of their money on themselves.
Some businesses are also trying to use older people's skills and experiences. For example, Cho Young-min started a company using Skype to connect older instructors in Korea with students around the world. The students are interested in learning Korean, and the instructors are interested in sharing their knowledge.
"They were too talented" just to pass their time away, Cho said.
Lee Kye-won agrees. He is 69 and used to work at a trading company. Lee says many of his friends just go to the mountains every day. But he wanted to do something more. So in 2014, he went to work for Cho.
"Coaching is a difficult job because it requires you to have endless energy, but I'm happy to be of a little help for other people beyond the border," he told Reuters.
"Life begins in your 70s"
Two other seniors have found success on the Internet. Seok Noh-ki is a 66-year-old blacksmith. He advertised his hand plow on YouTube recently. Soon, it became one of the most popular tools in the world for gardeners. Sales of the tool have tripled, and exports have sharply increased. Now Seok hires others to help him operate his business – including some other seniors.
Another man, Ji Byung-soo found success by performing a dance song on a televised singing contest. He is 77. Now he earns enough money to donate to a local support center.
Last month, he danced nonstop at a youth festival in Seoul while young people called his name. "Life begins in your 70s," Ji said. "Let's be happy and have fun."
I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.
1.gave up 放弃
He gave up the attempt in despair.
2.trading company 贸易公司
I worked for a trading company before.
3.support center 支持中心
At the Smithsonian Museum Support Center. Do you know where that is?
在史密斯博物馆支持中心 。 你知道在哪儿吗?
4.singing contest 歌唱比赛
At last, he won the first prize in the singing contest.
5."They were too talented" just to pass their time away, Cho said.
pass ones time away 打发时间
Reading magazine can pass away the time.
What did you do to pass the time away?
6.Almost half of the country's older people live in poverty.
live in poverty 生活贫困
Statistics indicate that disease have caused over 30 per cent of low-income residents to live in poverty.
In developing countries many people live in poverty.
金七斗称，年轻的时候，他想成为一名模特 。但为了谋生，他放弃了这个念头 。如今，65岁的他经常出现在电视广告和时尚杂志上 。留着灰白胡须和长发的他成为韩国首个老年模特 。
金七斗告诉路透社，他很开心找到了一份新工作 。“当模特真的很有趣，年龄大？那不过是个标签罢了 。”
金七斗是韩国众多老年人中的一员——韩国是全球老龄化人口增长最快的国家 。该国约半数的老年人生活贫困 。一些人退休后只能靠低薪工作养活自己 。但是金七斗和其他老年人证明，韩国老年人如何在晚年寻找不寻常的就业机会 。
柳成莱（You Sung-lae）59岁 。当她还是个孩子的时候，她想成为一名演员 。但是，她结了婚，而且有了孩子 。
现在，她正在接受训练，要上T台展示服装 。在接受路透社采访当天，她身穿一件亮蓝色的夹克，橙色高跟鞋，戴着名牌墨镜现身 。
柳还通过吸引年长买家来壮大时尚行业 。韩国最大的百货连锁店乐天的发言人告诉路透社，年长买家“已经成为大主顾” 。
虽然许多老年人没有多少积蓄，有的人已经买了房子，有了存款 。现在，这位发言人指出，这些老年人准备把一部分钱花在自己身上 。
一些企业也在试着利用老年人的技能和经验 。例如，赵英敏创办了一家公司，利用Skype将韩国的退休教师与世界各地的学生联系起来 。学生们对学习韩语兴趣浓厚，老师们也乐于分享他们的知识 。
李千源对此表示同意 。他今年69岁，曾在一家贸易公司任职 。李说，他的很多朋友每天都去爬山 。但他有更多事情想完成 。所以在2014年，他到赵英敏的公司工作 。
另外两位老人在互联网领域小有成就 。66岁的石卢基是一个铁匠 。最近，他在YouTube上为自己的手扶犁代言 。很快，它成为全球最受欢迎的园艺工具之一 。该工具的销量增长了两倍，出口也大幅增长 。现在，石开始雇人帮助他经营公司，包括一些其他的老年人 。
另一名老年人纪炳秀在电视歌唱比赛中表演了一首舞曲，并因此获得了成功 。他今年77年 。现在他赚的钱足够捐给当地的一个支援中心 。
上个月，他在首尔的一个青年节上不停地跳舞，年轻人呼喊他的名字 。“人生始于古稀之年，”纪说 。“让我们纵情欢乐，恣意人生 。”