When kids support their parents financially
BY LAURA POSADA
Naturally, kids depend on their parents on every aspect until they reach a certain age. Parents are under a moral, emotional, and legal obligation of taking care of their kids, and provide everything they need to have a happy and fulfilled life. But what happens when it’s the other way around? What happens when the parents are the ones that need financial support from their children?
Many issues can cause this such as: the lack of a retirement fund, or having a life pension, a sudden illness or health impediment, uncertain death, or the family business going bankrupt, etc. This is why I highly recommend that you start thinking about your retirement from an early age, and take the proper measures to go into retirement with sufficient means so that you can avoid relying on your kids for financial support because they will have their own families to tend to.
In countries like Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Spain there is a legal obligation to send a pension to parents who don’t have the financial means to live by themselves. Besides the law, I encourage you to carefully analyze the emotional bond that binds you to your family.
Look at it as a way to express your gratitude and not as an obligation: if your parents were good, took care, protected, and gave you everything you needed, then it won’t be hard to find a way to take care of them, because of your love and gratitude for them. Don’t look at it as an obligation, but as a beautiful opportunity to keep the people that have loved you the most close to you. Introduce this kind of love for your parents to your partner and kids, so that your kids will follow the example you set.
Set aside a percentage of your earnings, not just a set amount: if it’s about sending a monthly pension so that they can live by themselves, offer a percentage of what you earn, especially if it’s constantly changing, so that your home’s income doesn’t see a change and that your family isn’t affected in case there is an important change.
If you have any siblings then share the responsibility: a solution might be to have your parents live in each of your sibling’s houses for a specific period of time, but that’s only if your parents are fine with this. They can also live with one of your siblings permanently, but there must be an agreement between siblings to give them not only economic help but also time and attention.