On your own

Illustration by: Ivan Debs

If you moved back to Lebanon after the civil war during your late 20s with the dream of rebuilding the nation—and of course, haven’t held any public office—we predict you’re going to be working until you drop dead. Yes, Lebanese are known to be successful entrepreneurs—it’s a reputation that a few outliers have given us—but the majority of Lebanese are ordinary people with no safety net nor a propensity toward saving.

Whoever worked hard during the heydays of the 1990s until 2005 were, most likely, able to buy a roof over their heads and maybe put some money aside to enjoy over champagne, or exhaust during wars and crises. If you graduated after 2010, however, you entered the workforce at a time of decreasing prosperity. That is, if you were able to find a job rather than migrating to brighter pastures.

Our wealth management patterns follow the same rules that apply worldwide. Real estate, like in any other country, remains the first saving instrument we use. Everything else is subject to the cyclical global economic situation and amplified by the specifics of Lebanon’s geopolitical position, and of course, the lack of intelligence of our politicians.

While our politicians remain oblivious to the World Bank’s recommendations on poverty alleviation, inclusiveness, and market dynamics, Lebanese are left to devise their own retirement plan, quite the challenge with an annual GDP growth of less than 2 percent.

You are on your own.

Disclaimer: The above does not apply to state officials. They belong in a different economic model where you do not exist.

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