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A visit to the hairdresser is a great luxury for a pensioner from Freiburg – Freiburg

The pension is not enough for a new stove or for winter clothes and certainly not for Christmas presents for the grandchildren. A woman from Freiburg wants a hairdresser visit.

If there is another pension increase, the Elisabeth L. * is of no use: Every euro more pension is deducted from the housing benefit. It is the same for everyone who has to live with basic security or a mini pension and supplementary housing benefit in old age. The small annual pension increases are only good for those whose pension is at least enough to live on. Elisabeth L. is 70 years old and needs a lot that she cannot afford. Among other things, a stove and winter clothes.

Buy something for your grandchildren for Christmas? Actually, that’s what Elisabeth L. intends to do. But will she work it out? Your account is overdrawn by more than 1000 euros. She would also like to pay back her daughter’s membership fee for the building association that she laid out for her so that she could move a few years ago. And until it is clarified that with the “hefty rent increase” that is due for her, her housing benefit will also be increased, she is unsettled anyway. Since Elisabeth L. retired earlier due to illness, the new basic pension from 2021, which requires a minimum of 33 years of work, will probably not help her either.

Christmas wish campaign: Donation account Sparkasse Freiburg-Nördlicher Breisgau, IBAN: DE77680501010002399506, BIC: FRSPDE66XXX. Keyword “Christmas wish campaign”. Targeted donations are not possible, everything flows into one pot from which grants are then distributed. For organizational reasons, donations in kind cannot be accepted or arranged.

The fact that she quit working life at the age of 50 was doubly tragic for her: On the one hand, because she had only realized her dream of training as a nurse five years earlier. On the other hand, because she couldn’t find another job after a herniated disc made her dream job impossible. For years she wrote hundreds of applications, completed application courses at the job center and several one or two-euro jobs in various areas, she says. But there were no more prospects.

The marriage failed and the daughter raised her alone

Up until a year and a half ago she improved her small pension through neighborhood help, and in this area she also did a lot of voluntary work. Earlier, before she became a nursing assistant in her early 40s and a nurse in her mid-40s, Elisabeth L. had various jobs: As an 18-year-old she first went abroad as an au pair, got married there – “much too young and without professional training” she says looking back. She has long since regretted the rash decisions made in her youth. But back then, after an unhappy childhood with an alcoholic father and her parents divorced, she just wanted to leave. Their marriage failed, she came back and made up with her mother. She later became a mother herself and raised her daughter on her own.

Now in her old age, Elisabeth L. is in the absurd situation that her pension is a few euros above the limit below which she would receive basic security. Instead, she receives housing benefit. But only with basic security would she be entitled to some exemptions, for example for television and radio fees. And she gets annoyed about every pension increase because she never benefits from it.

In spite of all the money problems, she wants to pay a visit to the hairdresser soon: “This is a great luxury for me.” The vacation she has dreamed of for many years will remain a dream. First of all, she urgently needs shoes, a winter coat and a new stove. Your old stove is more than 30 years old and no longer works well.
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