Old age comes with its own set of challenges. One cannot have the slightest idea of how it feels to be in that stage of life until one is there.
Movies are one of the best means for seniors to unwind from all the challenges that life throws at them in their last stage of life. The entertainment factor aside, they also come with huge learnings that seniors today can take a leaf out of to better plan their finances in old age.
The challenges the elderly face could be physical, financial and/or related to mental health. Here are six such Bollywood movies that seniors may watch to learn some lessons.
Released in 2003, Baghban has left a deep mark on the memories of people whose children think of them as burden. The movie shows that the parents raise their four sons in the best possible manner and offered whatever they could, but after retirement, no son is ready to take care of both parents.
So the sons make an arrangement where the father would live with the eldest son, and mother with the one second to eldest, and, likewise with the other two sons rotationally every few months. The arrangement made the parent couple go through extreme emotional abuse they never imagined.
Another movie, 102 Not Out is based on a similar theme of elderly parents being ignored by children living abroad.
Learning: Seniors could face emotional abuse, so they need to plan for retirement. Seniors in India typically consider their children as their support system in old age, but things may not turn out that way. In the movie, the children were taking care of them, but not in the way parents imagined. So, it cannot be emphasised more that people should plan every aspect of their life after retirement well before they stand on the threshold.
This movie from 2015 brought forth the common issue related to health in public and how it can impact every aspect of daily life. But the uncommon issue in discussions puts light on the growing requirement of health-related advisory as one ages. In this movie, the child (daughter) takes care of her widower father, a grumpy old man, while managing her stressful job simultaneously.
Learning: This movie highlights the importance of health insurance and funds earmarked to take care of one’s health in old age. In the movie, the health expenses were taken care of. But, it also highlights the importance of health insurance where one can get covered for pre-existing health conditions also. Further, one can explore taking outpatient department (OPD) coverage as an add-on to their health policy to take care of health needs and getting professional consultancy whenever required.
Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana
Released in 2012, this movie throws light on inheritance. Set in the background of Punjab, this talks about a secret ingredient in the dishes served in the restaurant, ‘Khurana Dhaba’. When the main character, comes back to India to hide from a gangster in the UK, he finds the restaurant has lost its popularity because his grandfather, who only knew about the secret ingredient, died without telling about it to anybody. Somehow, he got the secret ingredient, and the movie ended on a happy note. However, in reality, it may not be the case.
Learning: In this case, it was about a recipe to be passed on to the next generation, but similar issues could arise on wealth too. Thus, making a Will is very important, even if one has mentioned nominees in the financial documents. When one leaves assets without writing a Will, chances are that there will be fights for the portion in assets. So, unlike the movie, one can plan well before who and how to leave the wealth for use.
Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi
This movie from 2021 presents a realistic picture of a large middle-class where all the children gather in the parental house and stay for 13 days on their father’s demise. The points of the discussions held among them during this period were; how to repay the Rs 10 lakh loan (father has borrowed) on the house, and more importantly, why to repay because what will mother do with such a big house.
In this situation, where the surviving old age parent is in a fragile emotional and financial state, it may be difficult to witness the changing behaviour of people.
Learning: This move talks of ways and means to live independently in old age. If one has taken a loan in old age, it is of paramount importance to clearly plan the repayment. Additionally, the spouse should be secured financially and made aware of the finances.
This is the last movie of veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, released in 2022. The movie depicts the story of a middle-class widower who takes care of his two adult sons. After retirement, when he has time, he finds his sons don’t have time for him. Feeling bored, ignored, and lonely, he again looks out for jobs to remain engaged and ends up getting work and earning through his long-time hobby of cooking.
Learning: Fighting loneliness by keeping engaged and making money on the side. Seniors may take away an important lesson from this movie to take up the challenge of remaining engaged on their own instead of depending on their children to get rid of their boredom and loneliness. By keeping engaged productively, they may also earn money and respect from their children.
Sharmila Tagore is the matriarch in this movie released in 2023. She decides to sell the house in Delhi, where she lives with her children and grandchildren. When she decides to sell the house to developers and move to Puducherry and live independently there, all the family members feel unease but could not do much as the matriarch, a senior citizen, kept money-related decision-making in her hands.
Learning: Being financially savvy and keeping money-related decisions to oneself. Seniors can choose to share expenditures in the family as and when they wish, but keeping the decision-making for money matters in their own hands is important so that they can live life the way they want. For this, they can try to keep themselves updated about the financial avenues and options suitable for them.