The thought of your (or your spouse’s) retirement must have crossed your mind some or the other time. Yes, we all give it a thought, no office…no job, free from all responsibilities, just you and your life partner. But have you also thought of financial security, when there would be no job, no fixed source of income…. who’s going to support you financially? Have you done some separate savings to live life financially independent after the retirement or like most of the parents your kids are your retirement plan?
Its quite a common scenario in our Indian society that parents leave no stone unturned to give a stable life to their kids. In order to do that they are willing to spend each single penny to give better education, a lavish marriage and some even go to the extent to provide a residence, which obviously leave the parents almost empty-handed. And then the coin gets flipped, the roles get reversed, now parents depend on their kids for the very basic necessities to live. Lucky ones are blessed with kids who will do anything and everything to take care of them, but some kids wont even care about the basic requirements, which leaves the parents in despair often questioning their own parenting. The movie ‘BAGHWAN’ depicts this whole issue very beautifully.
This is an age-old system of our Indian society but don’t you think it needs to be changed in current scenario. Surely there is the need to change the savings and investment goals, along with the savings/investment for the kids’ education and wedding (though I feel the wedding expenses must be worn by the bride/groom), a separate fixed amount should also be saved for the retirement purposes. Explore all the options which could give you a fixed monthly return after the retirement. Small savings through mutual funds and retirement plans will definitely lead you to the financial independence in the second innings.
While watching the TV show “desperate housewives”, I came to know that there it’s a whole different way to deal with this issue. Parents don’t take responsibility for the wedding or to provide a shelter, which surely results in a whole lot of savings for themselves. Once a kid is adult they move out of the parents’ house and earn to make a living while continuing their education. And if the kid require some financial assistance it’s a kind of loan which needs to be paid back, which I think should be followed in our country too. It will definitely end the extravagant expenses on weddings when one will sponsor his/her own wedding.
In our Indian social setup, parents need to change their outlook for sure, in spite of depending on your kids as a retirement plan, plan your retirement wisely. Help your kids to get proper education which would lead to financial stability, so that they can take care of their expenses on their own and not be an extra burden on you.
So what’s your RETIREMENT PLAN? Do share your views about this issue in comments….and share if you agree.
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Swati Shrivastava, a post graduate in Literature, is a knowledge seeker and reads a lot of stuff for that. She loves to pen down her emotions in form of poetry. Her daughters help her to learn and explore new things and to keep alive the child at heart.