Why we need to invest as much as possible when our parents are independent!

Published: July 27, 2020 at 11:33 am

Here is why we should invest both money and time as much as possible when our parents are young and able, else it may be too late to rectify. If you are under 35, that is a young earner, then this post is for you. If you are above that age, then you are likely to agree with me!

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You may wonder what is the relationship between how much I invest and how I spend my time with the health and ability of my parents. Fair enough. This post is about some eventualities in our lives and why we need to be aware of them and prepare for them as best as we can.

Your Life Changes Many Times in a lifetime! If you look back, there would be a handful of times when your life changed: when you changed schools or went from school to college or from college to a job. When you got married, when you became a parent and so on. Another such event is when your parents move into the evening of their lives. This is when their activities slow down. They have lifestyle induced diseases like diabetes, heart issues or worse syndromes, disorders, malignancies etc.

Then, they would begin to depend on you – physically, emotionally, financially. This typically happens when they cross 55, 60 or when you cross 35, 40. The parents that we knew all our lives will suddenly change to somebody else – not suddenly but over years.

This implies that there is a sudden demand on our time and/or money and this can be a difficult change to make. More than money, time is the problem. We may need to change our schedules, change jobs or even move from another city or another country. Money-wise there will be a sudden increase in recurring expenses as we may need to buy more medication, hire therapists or care-givers. Also, many senior citizens do not have adequate health insurance.

So this could be a huge drain on our resources (and theirs). If so, investing will take a back-seat. Even income could take a back-seat. Eg. if you are someone who earns from contracts, caring for parents may force you to take on less work.

Make the most of “today”! If your parents are independent and able today, all I am saying is the above is a possibility. There is no need to get scared for it and it is impossible to prepare for it. All you can do now is:

  1. Invest as much as possible for your long-term goals. Cut down expenses and invest
  2. Invest your time into things you always wanted to do. Later on, you may not have the time to do them.
  3. Make your parent’s dreams come true. Buy them stuff that will help them lead an engaging, productive life. When they are mobile, take them on holidays. Take them on a flight if that is new to them (naturally when the situation becomes better). This is my biggest regret as explained in this video
  4. Set up a secondary source of income so that it might be a fall-back option if you have to work from home.
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About the Author Pattabiraman editor freefincalM. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. since Aug 2006. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin Pattabiraman has co-authored two print-books, You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) and Gamechanger and seven other free e-books on various topics of money management. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India” an organisation to promote unbiased, commission-free investment advice. He conducts free money management sessions for corporates and associations on the basis of money management. Previous engagements include World Bank, RBI, BHEL, Asian Paints, Cognizant, Madras Atomic Power Station, Honeywell, Tamil Nadu Investors Association, IIST Alumni Association. For speaking engagements write to pattu [at] freefincal [dot] com
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