Children: A 'financial retirement plan'?

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

When I was growing up, my maternal grandma used to tell me stories about life as she was growing up; her childhood with 7 sisters, an un-arranged marriage at 17 (pretty unheard of in those days), living with rations during the war, having 5 children, and then a time of relative peace.

Five children. Each with their own different personalities and habits. I used to sit, enthralled, while she reminisces about what it was like to have to deal with each child. When I was in preschool, I suppose these stories were simply an excuse for me to spend time with her, and get to know my Aunts and Uncles who dote on me, since they were unmarried and didn't have their own kids then.

Now that she has passed on, what I will always take away from her stories is that she never had children as a retirement plan. She always placed great emphasis on this, and my mum, in turn - has also repeatedly, both in action and in words, mentioned that she did not have us and bring us up only so that she will be taken care of when she's too old to do so herself.

Likewise, BabyMoo is never and will never be a retirement plan for us.

We will not expect him to house us or take care of our expenses when we're retired. Neither do we expect him to not only have to take care of his own family, but to set aside a lump sum every month for his aged parents. Like our parents and our parent's parents, I would like us to be perfectly able to take care of ourselves, at least, financially, in our twilight years. We're working ourselves to the bone not only to provide for ourselves now, but to also ensure that we're doing our best while we still have the strength to.

If he should deem to do so out of his own accord, it will be nice to simply take us out for meals, and have the grandkids come over to play. Most importantly, we would like for him to realise and understand our sacrifices in bringing him up - and hopefully take these values as a way to be, and do the same for his children.

We brought a child into this world with very little expectations. We do not expect him to be the best, the brightest and the smartest in his cohort. We did not have a child to have an extension of ourselves, or to carry out what we missed out on doing. All we want is for him to always do his best, to be street wise, and to try to be happy despite life's challenges. We will try to equip him with the basics of life skills, after which he will be left to his own devices to explore the world. We have told him and we will continue telling him that to fail is part and parcel of life, but he must always try his best. Mistakes are made so that we can learn from it, and be better individuals.

He is our Gift, and the way we see it - we were chosen to be his parents. It will be an onus on him to expect him to take care of us financially in our old age, and a burden that should not be his calling. The only retirement plan our grandparents and parents had of their children, is to be able to enjoy their old age with an extended family. Perhaps a lot of people may disagree with our views, but the hubs and I were brought up without these expectations of us, and we are intent on passing it on.

BabyMoo has one life to live - and as long as he honours and respects us, that's more than what we can ask of him.

What are your thoughts? Should children be had as part of a 'financial retirement plan'?


MummyMOO


11 comments :

  1. Hear Hear! I agree with you whole-heartedly. Every single sentiment expressed.

    My "job" as a mummy is to love and to accept my children for who and what they are and become. To raise them to be the best they can be and to support them in their endeavours.

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    1. I hope this comes to pass, Mags! Now I write, hopefully it will materialise in the future! Hahaha!!

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  2. Yup, in this day and age I think those who expect their kids to form part of their retirement plan are setting themselves up for disappointment!

    I am kinda part of my parents' retirement plan now, not that I resent it since they did give up a lot to bring me up, just that I gotta work doubly hard to save up for my own retirement in future!

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    1. I think all of us make our own sacrifices as long as there's a kid involved. You are right though... in SG especially, it's so hard already to live for today, more so plan and make prudent investments for the future!

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  3. I agree on this & feels that we shouldn't hope that one day we have to rely on them to support us when we are old. But if they do, then its a BONUS :)

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    1. Amie, it's nice to know that the dining table will always be full, yah? Esp when they have kids of their own :)

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  4. Fully agree. I am not expecting even a shred of financial support, but I think the least we should expect is that they don't continue to rely on us even after we retire!

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  5. I don't think it will be realistic to put your child as part of your financial retirement plan. At this age in time if it s difficult enough for them to earn enough to support themselves and their family ..and still have enough to support you.

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    1. Yah... we already have problems. I think next time when C is of 'marriageable' age, HDB flats will cost 2m!!

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  6. I think it would be horrible if your children grew up thinking that they were expected to be their parent's retirement plan. Love them guide them and let them be free to choose their own course in life.
    That way they're sure to come back and look after you anyway.
    (Oops! Did I really say that?)

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