Children are not your retirement plan

They could be struggling, living far away or die before you

In Summary

• We need to plan better for our future rather than cultural relying on our children

An old woman
An old woman

Most of us want to believe that people have children for noble reasons. However, there are some cultural ideologies that make others believe children are their retirement benefits. Certain people refuse to let go of their children for life. They will keep them in their houses long after these ‘kids’ have kids of their own.

I am not against children supporting their parents in their old age. I am against adults who refuse to make plans for their future because they have children. Certain cultural values that we hold on to are simply archaic, they have no place in the world we live in today.

For instance, the belief that having sons is better than daughters because sons will take care of their parents in their old age, while daughters are married away and become strangers, has been proven over and over again to be false. If anything, more daughters are taking care of their elderly parents in today's society than sons.

However, let's keep all aside for the sake of this discussion and focus solely on financial support. Even if it were left up to them, children will always take care of their parents when they are older because they are emotional beings often guided to do what is right. Nobody wants to see their parents suffer in any capacity.

However, there are parents who make their children suffer simply for being their kids. They want to control every aspect of their children's lives, even though the young people have families of their own. These parents not only expect support from their children, they demand it!

I've known a few people whose parents have dragged them to court for financial support. Surely, is this what the world has come to? Parents have become so entitled that they would rather see a young man depressed and his family deprived so that they can live comfortably? When asked, these people often argue that they are the parents; since they raised their children they expect to be taken care of.

No wonder many young men (especially) contemplate suicide or die early from heart-related problems as they are under too much pressure. We cannot expect our children to take care of us to this extent. The current economic situation makes it hard for earners to live on what they earn, let alone take care of the whole community with his or her salary.

Times are different. During our parents' and grandparents' time, it was possible for one to take care of their families, their parents and relatives and not feel the pinch. These good-time eras are long gone, possibly never to return. The average family can barely make it to month-end on one paycheck.

Some countries force workers to save for their retirement. You will find people in their twenties having more than one retirement benefit. These countries often do this as a means of protecting their elderly.

You see, just because you have children does not make it a feasible retirement plan. Your children could die before you. They could be unable to work or barely make a living. Or they could have moved to a different part of the world, where they are unable to tend to your every need.

We really have to do better and plan better for our old age when we are still younger. The days of winging it and expecting society to rally behind you are long gone. We live in harsh times and harsher realities. If we really love our children, we should not want them to bear the heavy burden of taking care of their ageing parents.

WATCH: The latest videos from the Star