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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
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The positive and negative consequences of living alone

lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
In recent years it has become far more normal for people to live alone, particular in big cities in the developed world. In my opinion, this trend could have both positive and negative consequences in equal measure.

The rise in one-person households can be seen as positive for both personal and broader economic reasons. On the individual level, people who choose to live alone may experience more indepent and self-reliant than those who live with family members. A young adult who lives alone, for example, will need to learn to clearn, cook, pay bills and manage his or her budget, all of which are valuable life skills; an increase in the number of such individuals can certainly be seen as a positive development. From the economic perspective, the trend towards living alone will result in greater demand for housing. This is likely to benefit the construction industry, estate agents and a whole host of other companies that rely on the houseowners buy their products or services.

However, the personal and economic arguments given above can be considered from the opposite angle. Firstly, rather than the feelings of increased independence, people who live alone may experience the feelings of loneliness, isolation and worry. They may miss out the emotional support and daily conversation that family or flatmates can provide; in this sense, the trend towards living alone is likely to be a positive one. Secondly, from the finical point of view, a rise in demand for housing is likely to push up property prices and rents, while this may benefit some businesses, the general population, including those who live alone, will be faced with rising living costs.

In conclusion, the rise in one-person households could have both beneficial and detrimental effects on individuals and on the economy.

Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,110 mod
    You are very good at posing interesting questions @lisa! Again there are lots of pros and cons to this one. Myself, I prefer living alone but most people I think rather live with a partner or their family. What about you? Have you lived alone?
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @mheredge Comparied with living alone, I prefer to live with my families, but not all of us live together, which will be too crowed. Maybe my family should at least include my daughter, my husband and I, and our parents are always welcomed to join us.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    edited November 12
    Actually most of the topics I posted in the forum come from IELTS wirting sections, and few essays are written by me, I recited these essays and posted them in the forum. Sorry, if these essays make you confused.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,110 mod
    Not at all @lisa. There are on interesting topics. The traffic congestion one I know only too well! Did you know that the British Council does not have a limitless number of essay questions? If you practice on all the ones you can get your hands on, you might find you have one you've already thought about in the exam!
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,373 mod
    The disadvantage of living alone is that it's more expensive.
    Especially in case of heater, electricity and rent.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @april Yes, once I read one article to discuss this problem, the economic burden shared by two persons now is taken by only one, and it is not good for the environment, because in some extent the people living alone is wasting the limited energy, such as water, electricity, gas and so on.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,373 mod
    We can avoid that by for example, not switching on the heater and working in darkness, @lisa .
    Which won't work for me of course. :D
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @april I think the first thing is switching on the light and heater when we arrive at home in winter.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,110 mod
    Freedom and independence comes at a price @april!
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    edited November 14
    @mheredge @april In other words, money is not essential but without it, everything will be unnormal. But in my mind, money is vital fator in our lives.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,373 mod
    edited November 14
    Unfortunately, we need money in this very world.
    It's a pity that somebody has a lot of money and others have none.
    There are now experiments in some countries to give every civilian a basic income, regarsdless of their job or even jobless.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @april Could you tell you which countries are? I want to be the citizen of these countries. We do not have any basic income in China, working or hangry to die, we do not have the third choice.
  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 10,373 mod
    Finland and The Netherlands are doing this experiment.
    Switzerland has got a referendum concerning this and in Belgium some politician start to promote it.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    I am wondering how i can become the citizen of these countries mentioned by you :p
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 605 ✭✭✭
    edited November 15
    > I am wondering how i can become the citizen of these countries mentioned by you :p

    The whole of Sub-Saharan Africa is wondering about the same, @lisa! BTW, could you shed some light on the China's pension system issue? I was told that China had no government pension system and the retiring people should rely on their own savings.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @Practical_Severard That is completely uncorrect news. That is definitely a rumor. Of course China has a formal pension system operated by goverment department. In China, if you would continue to pay social insurance for 15 years, you could get pension after getting retired. But I think the levels are different in various areas, for example, the pension of Beijing is much more than other areas. The amount of pension also depends on the amount of money you pay every month on social insurance. There are lots of Rusians living in China after their retirement, because their pensions can not afford a qualified life in Rusia.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 605 ✭✭✭
    edited November 15
    > @lisa said:
    > @Practical_Severard That is completely uncorrect news.
    A collegue told me that the Chinese get hired until 40 something years old only and then switch for a kind of small business, like keeping a tyre repair shop. He guessed it was due to the absense of a government pension system in China. I was very surpised how libertarian that picture was.

    >There are lots of Rusians living in China after their retirement, because their pensions can not afford a qualified life in Rusia.
    That's true and no secret. The living cost in China is lower and some East Russian pensioners sell their properties in Russia, buy something in China instead, which is cheaper and live on their pension benefits and on what they've made on that exchange.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @Practical_Severard If he was right, China should be in the civil war instead of exploit the economy. I can only give him a suggestion that if he can afford the travling expense, he should have a travel to China. Maybe he was living in 1920s of China.
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 605 ✭✭✭
    >
    If he was right, China should be in the civil war instead of exploit the economy. I can only give him a suggestion that if he can afford the travling expense, he should have a travel to China. Maybe he was living in 1920s of China.

    @lisa, I don't think that absense of a state pension system is anything bad until there're alternative social mechanisms, like the extended family. It may work even better.

    About this man, he was in China several times on busuness trips, though before 2009 maybe, I don't remember now, and had the chance to talk with the local industrialists. Probably, their English wasn't good enough, but what they said that the rural migrant workers were uncovered by any state system, and there're sources on the Internet that that might have been true.
    https://t.co/xlvHty5yzQ
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @Practical_Severard So you mean people do not need to pay social insurance when they are young in Russia, then they can get pension after their retirement? Those people in this news are ones they do not pay social insurances when they were young, Chinese population is the biggest in today's world, if everyone would not pay socail insurances when he/she was young, then he/she could get a decent pension after his/her retirement. I think Chinese goverment has been bankrupt, and all of Chinese are below the poverty line, I do not think it is fair for the people who pay social insurance every month. And I think you have some discrimitions about Chinese government, because you always ask me some issues of Chinese society, does Russian society or government perform perfect, or all russians are satisfied with your government?
  • Practical_SeverardPractical_Severard Posts: 605 ✭✭✭
    > @lisa said:

    (i) I don't want to bash the Chinese government, in fact they've being performing marvelously during the transition period. That's a really oustanding challenge.

    (ii) Since I adhere to somewhat libertarian values I rather like when a society doesn't maintain a welfare/pension system and China has been an object of my interest because of that.

    (iii) To clarify: I haven't been asking you questions about China, I've asked only one.

    (iv) As for Russia, the Russians aren't satisfied about the state of the things, there are a lot of problems. I think, I could write a book or a political science thesis on them, if I had the time. On the matter of retirement, the pensioners are poor people here since they outlived the country they used to live in and all their savings turned into useless paper. It's their offspring who help their parents, but those, who haven't had any, are screwed. This is one of the problems, we, Russians, have made to ourselves (since I believe that a people is responsible for each and any problem of its country) and we're handling them now.

    As for the pension system which is in Russia: employers pay the state pension fund 22% of the payroll total.

    For the people born in 1967 or later:
    6% are spent to support the current retirees
    10% are used as the insurance fee
    6% are invested in securities.

    The insurance-based payouts are state guaranteed but the sum depends on the number of pensioners to the number working age people ratio.
    The invested capitals may be inherited. Employees can invest more themselves, if they choose to do so. On the other hand, this capital may be invested poorly, while of course, there're regulations, and people can transfer their pension capitals from one fund to another.

    There're also so-called 'social pensions' which are payed to everyone who reached the age, but they're quite low.

    Should you want to ask me anything about Russia, feel free to do that.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @mheredge > @mheredge said:
    > Not at all @lisa. There are on interesting topics. The traffic congestion one I know only too well! Did you know that the British Council does not have a limitless number of essay questions? If you practice on all the ones you can get your hands on, you might find you have one you've already thought about in the exam


    I was told there was not standard answers for the essay questions, if I could express my idea clearly and reasonable, then I could get a decent score. All of the topics I have posted and will post in the forum are the old ones in the exam, I think most of them are not only the concerns that British people have, but also the whole world should pay enough attention to and work together to solve, such as traffic congestion, pollution, protection of wild animals, and so on.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,110 mod
    The answers certainly don't have to be standard in any way @lisa but the question format tends to be the same.
  • lisalisa Posts: 407 ✭✭
    @mheredge So the questions will focus on few topics, such as pollution, nature and humans, social issues and so on. I have read more than 30 essays written by an ex-tutor of IELTS, most of them are relevant to the given topics.
  • mheredgemheredge Teacher Here and therePosts: 28,110 mod
    Yes, these are the typical topics @lisa. Obviously they effect people differently in different places but they concern everyone.
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