Beijingers richer but unhappier (2)

10:05, April 01, 2010      

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Reflecting on the reasons she can't simply be a happy-go-lucky middle class professional woman, Liu concludes that she feels she must continuing working hard and saving as much as possible to secure a good life after retirement, to pay her parents' expensive medical bills and, most importantly, to help her son get the best education available.

"The biggest reason for me to keep saving is to ensure a good future for my kid and I believe that's what most Chinese middle-class families are doing," she said.

Liu said she has already been putting money away to send her son to study abroad after he graduates from high school.

"It might cost more than 200,000 yuan for a year's tuition, so I have to save at least 1 million yuan for him," she said.

She says another reason for her anxiety is that she never feels secure in her job.

Last year when the world economy was hit hard by the global financial crisis, she was unemployed for almost a year, living on the rents she collected from tenants.

"I was able to support my family with that money, but I want to save more in case it happens again. It wasn't a great situation - I was so busying looking for a new job that I had almost no time for my family," she said.

Although Liu is not the only breadwinner for her family, her husband, who works in the government, is not as well paid as she is.

Liu's feelings coincide with those of a survey published recently by insurance company Manulife-Sinochem. According to the survey middle class families in the most prosperous regions in China, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, are some of the least happy in China because of the unbearable economic pressures they face and the small amount of time they spend with family members.


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(Editor:赵晨雁)

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