Money! no matter how hard you try to ignore the subject, it always comes around. Lets face it, everyone needs money. I would not get into what money can buy and what it cant!
Rather, the topic here is, should I be saving from my earnings? If yes should I be saving for me or should I be saving for my kids?
Well first things first. Should I be saving? There are believers of ‘kal ka kal dekha jayega, aaj jiyo’ which is Hindi for ‘Will see when tomorrow comes, live today’. That’s a perspective I’m not debating! Might work for a few. But most of us look at a decent living even after when we were no longer working, or when we stop earning. It could be a losing a job or retirement. Don’t they say ‘Save for a rainy day’ ?
So yes we have to save.
Should you save for you or your kid? Lets debate this a bit.
When you start earning, you have big dreams of making a wonderful living, buy a home, buy a car, may be travel the world, and retire sitting on a pile of cash.
Come kids in your life, the perspective often takes a big turn, suddenly you feel obliged to write off that every thing you do is for the kids. Yes you love them, yes you want a better life for them, yes they could get better education, better clothes, better everything than what you got. Yes it is a beautiful feeling and a great responsibility. You have to provide for them, get them good education, teach them, guide them and so on. But does that mean every thing you do is for them? What about your life? What did you want to do? I’m sure none of us would start a life thinking ‘I would have kids and dedicate my life to them’.
Believe me, I’m not playing anti-kid here. I love my kids, I believe having and bringing up kids is one of the finest things we experience in life.
But the point is.. lets be more practical than emotional about it!
I have friends whose parents made no plans for their retirement. They invested it all on their kid. Many typical Indian parents put all their retirement (provident fund) money in their child’s education or buy him/her a house. And suddenly one day they realize they became dependents from providers. Things could go anywhere from there, not much in your control! Yes we believe our kids are noble, they would take care of us. They would, but what if they wont?
The point I’m driving at is, save.
Save for you, save for your kid too in a proportion.
I have a friend who’s saving 40% of his monthly income for his kids college education, he plans to do it for the next 7 yrs. His retirement fund gets a meager 7%. It might go right. It might go wrong. What if it went wrong? What if the kid dropped out of college? My point is, 40% might be too much, it is personal choice though.
Let the child earn merit, let him get into college on his own. Yes you would pay the expenses. If he cant do that there are alternatives. Teach the kid what money can buy vs what you have to do to earn it.
Your kids would naturally inherit all that you have. Do have as much. You don’t have to tell them today.
Don’t let them know today about all that you have saved, all the plots of real estate you own, all the shares you bought, all the wealth he/she would inherit from you. They might not have the zeal to make it big if they assumed they’re sat on a pile of cash already.
So save for you, your retirement and providence. Do save for your kids future. But be practical and not emotional about it.
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