A person’s intellectual maturity and financial maturity are often mutually exclusive factors. The most financially mature individuals are raised in such a way that they grow up with a keen sense of financial priorities, often thanks to responsible parents.
Many people around the world tend to get married at relatively young ages, and subsequently also start having children and raising them quite early in their lives. The good side of this is that they get to experience watching their offspring grow up in their loving care, and feel immense pride at each step they take toward achieving greatness and success in life. The bad side, on the other hand, is that you may end up becoming a burden for your children when you are old and grey.
Yes, not all families turn out that way. Many families maintain amazing levels of cohesion among their members, tightly clinging to their loving ties and never collapsing even under horrible degrees of stress. Where, then, does the problem come in?
The Danger of Pampering
Well, to begin with, when parents end up pampering their children too much by helping them out every step of their way to adulthood, providing financial and physical assistance indiscriminately without teaching them how to be self-sufficient and responsible, problems start to arise. Believe it or not, many overly indulgent parents end up helping their children so much, even after they attain adulthood, that they never really learn to fend for themselves in the real world.
You think that is bad? It gets worse.
When the once-supportive parents become old, and gradually lose the ability to take care of themselves like they always have in the past, they obviously look to their children before anyone else to take care of them. The bad news? They themselves raised their children to be such obnoxious vegetables that they cannot even support themselves and their own families properly, let alone their parents.
Do you see it now? The danger is a fairly large one. Not just for you – for your children, too.
However, the good news is, children always perceive more than you would think they do. Most children, upon reaching a certain age, tend to become curious about their families’ financial affairs, and even offer to help out in order to lessen the load on their parents. Pampering parents tend to brush these displays of concern away and send the children out to their own devices, but this is a very wrong move. You may think you are doing your children a favor by letting them enjoy their lives, but you cannot possibly be further away from the truth.
By crippling the children’s natural drive to help out their parents, you are essentially snapping their vertebrae in half before casting them out in the real world once they grow up. The outside world, as sad as it may sound, is a tough place, where only the fittest, smartest and most competent individuals can make it to the top. By not letting your children help you, you are essentially denying them a deluxe seat in the world of the future.
How to Prepare Them
What can be done to ensure that your children grow up to be responsible adults, who can not only take care of themselves but also their parents? The answer is quite simple, really. When your children want to help you out, let them. Even if they fail to do it the right way, rather than scolding them and giving up, be patient and teach them how to do it properly.
If your children are not proactive about trying to help you, you have to start giving them tasks to do. Start with easier ones. And, when they succeed to do something, praise them without exception. Point out their mistakes, but do not chastise them.
Prepare for Yourself
At the same time, you also need to start planning out how you want to spend your days as a senior citizen. Would you prefer hiring domestic help, or spending your days in a nursing home? Either way, you need to set aside portions of your savings for it, as well as maintain a fund for your medical expenses. While it certainly is nice if your children help you out, you can also help them in return by not being too much of a burden.
Be sure to have the more intricate parts of your transactions for the post-retirement years of your life completed long before your retirement to make things easier later.
This is probably the only way you can attempt to have it all – responsible, successful children, the love and care they would bestow upon you, and also the serene satisfaction of knowing that you are not being a burden upon them.