A good friend of mine, Suzanne Suckerman of the www.anglo-list.com, the Aliyah and Israel Lifestyle website – published results of a survey that she conducted among the Anglo Saxon Community entitled ‘What does living comfortably in Israel mean to you?’
She explained, “Anglo-List tries to bring consumer related information to the attention of the Anglo community that they might otherwise miss out on because their Hebrew skills are not yet well developed.
This information helps new olim form realistic Aliyah expectations. We know that there are different lifestyle expectations between the secular and the religious community who come here for idealistic reasons.” Anglo-list’s latest survey is entitled ‘Shopping Habits of the Anglo Community in Israel’.
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The results of both these surveys can be found on anglo-list.com.
Mostly people who made Aliyah want to know, based on their current situation and potential earnings, how much they need a month to live in Israel. Based on extensive Facebook group discussions, we formulated a set of survey questions that we felt most reflected the difference between ‘basic living’ and ‘comfortable living’.
67.07% earn under NIS 15, 000 and in Israel the average household income in NIS 14, 000.
What was remarkable from the survey are items that really make your life comfortable. For example 90.3% said that they have to have an air-conditioner (quite agree), 98.81% need to have a computer and 97.62% have to have a mobile phone. What was interesting that only 50% mentioned that they need to have a TV, a sign of the times? However, these items are not basic necessities like for example a fridge, cooker, oven, bed and furniture are. So the items mentioned in the survey are basically items that you want and not particularly need.
Another aspect of the survey was that only 23.17% mentioned that they are comfortable being in debt, meaning that they have either an overdraft, credit card debt or other outstanding loans. The statistics in Israel 2014 are that 53% of the population over the age of 20 are in overdraft and are in overdraft.
However, the highlight for me as a family financial advisor is that only 22.22% felt that in order to live comfortably in Israel that they need to work with a fixed food budget. Working with a budget enables you to take control over your personal finances and allocate your income so that it covers all your expenses. If you are working with a budget the answers to these two questions the statistics would be reversed. 86.75% would like to buy what you need but ONLY 9.88% said that should be able to buy what you want.