My parents stay in a small town in North India. Even though they face innumerable problems of being alone, they do not intend to stay with any of their three daughters. They often visit one of my sisters for longer term. However, staying forever is not an option for them. On the other hand, my parents-in-law stay in a similar small town in South of India. They periodically visit their three sons individually, for short term. And yes, staying with one of them forever – is not an option for them either. Both sides of parents however, are faced with living in massive houses each, which requires high maintenance annually. This often needs help from their offspring – which becomes taxing in many ways for everyone involved, if not really awkward.
In the hustle-bustle of our own life, whatever is out of our sight is definitely out of our minds. Taking responsibility is of course, not a problem. After all, this aspect of life has been learnt well from our parents and their generation. We love to own what we can do and on occasions also what we cannot! Often, it does become an added liability to look after every one’s needs.
I remember reading somewhere – “Old age isn’t that bad if you consider the alternatives”. Come to think of it, this is the time one can really sit back and relax after having spent our lives running the rat race with our contemporaries. I strongly believe that old age is the happy hour of our life. We just should be careful about the moves we make to reach there. Being independent even after one retires from professional life is one of the first such moves. The earlier one starts on it, the better. After all, we are different in many ways from our previous generation. One of which is meticulous planning for our own future and not only for our kids.
At age 20 we worry about what others think of us;
At age 40 we don’t care what they think of us;
At age 60 we realize that they haven’t been thinking of us at all
Cliche? Not at all! No one thinks of us if we don’t. And planning for tomorrow for self is not only judicious but loads off for others too. If we do not plan for ourselves, who will? Take one such step and plan for that golden period which is inevitable. Choose a harmonious environment for living in – perhaps someplace where one doesn’t need to haggle with vegetable vendors or stand in the super markets’ cashiers queue or feel the pressure for house maintenance either. Let your visitors feel your comfort level. Let them feel how in your element you have become, after entering this golden period. Choose your secure old age with care. Planning in advance is the key to having a well-settled retired life. Let your life change for better when retired and feel the harmony while you step into the arena of senior citizenship.
I intend to do something soon and am already cutting on to certain areas of present expenditure to have the assurance that our – my husband’s and mine – happiness and contentment is not hampered when we finally retire.