For the two past weeks, your Facebook wall is filled with photos of graduation or moving up ceremonies as the DepEd termed it these days. Beneath the seemingly humble smiles of success of the students is the roaring sound of parents’ pride. Indeed, both students and parents have completed another important milestone in their lives.
And while almost everyone is enjoying liking and sharing these photos of success on their Facebook walls, a thought started playing on my head as I was hit by a memory of a dinner with a colleague a few months ago. I wonder whether the parents on these photos share the same thought with my colleague.
Her words are still fresh in my memory and if I will hear her say those words again, my reaction of disbelief will still be the same.
She was showing me her new coat and told me how much was it. And when I said, it was too expensive and I couldn’t afford one, she shockingly asked where I spend my money on. I told her, I’m spending it for my future…I went on explaining to her how I save, buy shares of stocks, spend it on books, e-courses and webinars
Then she said, “Ahh, yes you have to do that because you are single.” And she added “My son is my future”. And when I asked what she meant, she further explained, “When I retire and become old, my son will take good care of me.” She repeated, “My son is my future.”
I didn’t know what to say because this contradicts with the ideas I’ve been hearing from my online mentor and financial advice I’ve been reading from my financial books.
At that night, I went to bed thinking whether parents send their children to school to provide their sons or daughters their rights to education so they can create a better future for themselves as they grow or is it because it is a form of investment that will give them (the parents) higher ROIs (Return of Investment) after 5, 10, 15, 20 years?
Is saving and investing only for singles like me because we don’t have children to depend on when we get old?
Are you depending on your children to cover your financial needs when you get old because you are spending your money now on their education?
I advocate financial education. I continuously preach the importance of saving and investing because I hope that when you retire and grow old, you won’t become a burden to your children because you will be able to afford your needs. And when you will be visiting your grandchildren, they will be excited and happy to see you and know what pasalubong you bought for them.
And as your children start to build their own lives, you will have the choice to extend support when you want to. Isn’t that wonderful instead of demanding a “pay back” time from them?
Why do you send your kids to school? Is it for them or for you?