Age is only a number”, so goes the old saying. However, the fact of the matter is that a bigger number also means old age, which implies more time, but less energy. So, what can parents living with children do to adjust well with the next, and next to next, generations?
Most of the times, money becomes the main reason for problems in the family, but this is something that can be tackled. The right thing, in that case, should be to split the expenses with a bit of financial planning.
Instead of feeling like a burden on your children, elderly parents with some regular income can contribute to paying for the expenses by using the following strategies.
Pay For Your Regular Expenses: The first thing that a senior citizen can do is to take care of finances by himself/herself as long as possible. This way, he/she can keep control over his/her finances and know how much he/she can offer to divide up the expenses in the family. They can take help from their children or financial advisors to know how to better manage their money. They should also try to understand and keep financial matters to their knowledge. A record keeping of the financial data in one place could be a good idea. Likewise, a simple organisation of financial documents can also help them a lot as well their children, in case of an emergency.
Pay Your Health Insurance Premium: Health insurance is the primary product that one should take for oneself. Though the government gives income tax relief to the buyer on health insurance for dependent parents, parents should try to buy it for themselves with their money and save up their children’s money on medical expenses. Indirectly, it will offer financial support to their children and earn the admiration they deserve the most.
Health insurance for peobple over 60 years was not possible a few years ago, but now, there are various schemes and offers available for people of any age. While taking a health insurance policy, senior citizens should pay attention that the coverage is sufficient for them, keeping in view their age-related ailments so that in the event of any unexpected illness, the expenses do not become a burden on the children. This is the biggest safety net that senior citizens can give to their children by securing themselves against health-related expenses.
Secure Your Partner: From the above points, it is clear that instead of taking responsibility for some regular expenses, senior citizens can rather think of creating a safety net. In this context, if parents in their golden years shift with the adult kids, where typically one parent has earnings, he/she must not forget to secure the partner/spouse, instead of leaving him/her dependent on the children once he/she is not there. In the Indian context this is very important because, many times, women generally do not have much know-how on financial matters.
Keep Aside Money For Occasions: Depending on the income flow, whatever sum your budget allows, keep aside some for spending on special occasions, such as gifting on birthdays, anniversaries, festivals as well as for any other emergencies. This is usually a cost that most seniors do not consider
in their budget, and spending on such occasions could upset that balance if not accounted for previously.
Spend On Your Hobbies: Every hobby is important as long as you can remain engaged, but make sure that for this too you use your own money to indulge in the hobbies rather than depend on your children to fund it.
In essence, understand your finances, and stay independent and relevant.