September 12, 2011

Saving is the best thing …

I was talking to a friend about our kids a few days ago. Both our kids are of the same age group … we talked about education, insurance, sports, exams and other related topics. It was a long discussion and somewhere during our conversation, my friend raised a question. He asked me “Eh … how much do you intend to leave for your kids?” “What do you mean?” I asked. And he replied  “I mean, when you leave the world, what you intend to leave for your kids? I thought for a few seconds and then I told him “NOTHING! Really, I don’t plan to leave anything for my kids when I kick the bucket ... I don’t even know if I have anything left by then”. He looked surprised anticipating an explanation. And we continued the discussion with me explaining my point.

 You see, like most people, my wife and I got out from school, started working, got married and were blessed with two kids. Over the years we struggled to fulfill mortgages, loans, insurances, kid’s education and other financial commitments. We are still struggling (though it is a bit easier now) for the comfort of the family, for the importance of our relationship and more importantly as parents, we struggle for our kids. We are not complaining … we know we need to spend enough time, give enough guidance and provide adequate foundation to our children as they grow. Though we don’t have a lot to give but we plan to give while we are still alive and while we are still able to do so.

Our children are the most important part of our lives at this point of time … and that is exactly why we are trying to ensure that they can handle the responsibilities when it is time to take the challenges on their own. We give whatever we can afford hoping that our children will grow up to be responsible adults, standing on their own two feet to face the world. Whether or not we are able to do this, we can’t say for now as we are still trying … our kids are still young. Really, we don’t plan to leave anything for our kids … we are not here to make sure that we save enough money, accumulate enough wealth for our children to continue living comfortably when the curtain closes down on us. We hope to “teach them how to fish” (as the saying goes) as the day will come for them to take on the struggle and earn a comfort living for themselves.

And when our children grow up, we hope we will not be of any burden to them when they go out to build their own lives and start their own families. If (at all) necessary, we don’t want to be dependent on our children when we grow old. As a matter of fact, (as selfish as it may sound) we saved some money, we accumulated some wealth and we invested in some funds … for ourselves. Simply because we need to make sure that we have enough to live comfortably until we go “kaput”. And if there is anything left by that time, that’s what we will leave for our children.

So, what is your plan? What will you leave for your kids when your time comes? Maybe you slogged very hard, built a successful life, accumulate enough wealth with the thought that you will leave a fortune or a big trust fund or some expensive properties for your kids to ensure that they won’t have to struggle (like you did) and hopefully they will continue to live a good life. Don’t get me wrong … I am not against it at all. I am very glad for you … even more glad for your kids. Let’s not deny it … I am sure all of us wished that our parents did that for us … then we all would be very happy to write the ending phrase to the title of this article (Saving is the best thing …)especially when your parents have done it for you !”