I remember many years ago, there was an advertisement on tv about Chinese New Year. The scene was the old folks home. It goes something like this. First person said, ‘My daughter is a doctor. She earns a lot of money just by doing a surgery.’ Second person said, ‘My son is a lawyer. He is a top lawyer and earns a lot of money.’ Then, both of them look at the third aunty and asked, ‘what about your son. Is he very successful?’ The third person was about to say something when she saw her son’s car, a Proton Iswara being driven into the old folks home’s compound. She said, ‘there’s my son. He is here to take me out for dinner.’ She beamed happily. Both the first and the second aunties looked at one another and everyone can see how they envy this third aunty who will be going out for a dinner with her son. How do we define success? Earning the most money or time with family? No right or wrong answer, just note our own priority that’s all.
In NST today, there are a sad articles about old folks. Forgotten old folks. I am lucky. Both my brother and sister have their families and are doing well. My parents were both educators and today both are retired and staying in my hometown. I told my wife that it is very important to have enough because no one knows what would happen to us when we are old. There’s no guarantee that our children is able to take care of us. Sometimes, when times are rough and tough, it may be best for them (children) to take care of their families first. As usual, parents would always sacrifice themselves even though they have sacrificed so much to raise their children. Let’s not talk about those children who are able and yet chose not to take care of their parents. So, are we doing enough so that if really necessary, we would have enough funds to last us till the day we say bye-bye to this world? For some of us who has yet to plan, it’s time to start. These articles in NST are real and the situations would get worse and not better. Cost of living is getting higher. Medical expenses are becoming prohibitive. In future, if we are also staying in old folks home, it is hard to pin the blame on anyone. Unforeseen circumstances do happen.
I have asked my 4 year old daughter this question a few times. ‘When you grow up and papa grow old, will you take care of me?’ She would always answer ‘Yes.’ I would smile and tell my wife that whatever happens in the future, it’s important for us to plan for our retirements. My wife agrees and in fact is the one limiting me sometimes when I intend to buy another pair of leather shoes when I already have half a dozen of them at home. I have worked for the past 18 years plus. Half a dozen leather shoes simply meant one shoe every 3 years. Seems normal… right? Take care everyone.
written on 22Jan 2017
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