Looking at my grandma watching the time of the day pass by slowly I have grown to appreciate the opportunities we are currently seeing unfold. It’s expensive to be old and your options to do what you want get more limited due to your body’s changing needs. I’m sure a lot of the members from the elderly group could feel some tension related to personal finance.
When their pension funds aren’t enough to sustain their increasing costs of living, they know somewhere along the decades that have passed, they regret missing out a financial opportunities that could've avoided this problem in their later years. Listening to my grandma talk about job opportunities they had, and the lifestyle they were conditioned to, I couldn’t blame some of the mistakes made financially. They would have done better if they had more access to information and options we have now.
I live in a third world country and technology here adapts slowly except for information hubs found in the nation. The fact we have less than 5% of people investing in the stock market direct and indirectly speaks volumes of how better financial literacy can save futures later on. Our educational system is still tailored to produce employees working on factories and maintaining the status quo. It hasn’t yet adapted to the changing needs brought by technological advancement of our time.
In a world where some can’t keep up processing new information being pumped daily, those that are left behind will end up being financially vulnerable. Upcoming retirees are slowly waking up that their pension funds aren’t going to keep up with inflation. Their job security will be gone and sources of income will be limited especially for those have had poor financial planning decades prior. You just can’t trust the government and banks to have your best interests at heart because these institutions prioritize their own survival over your welfare.
So while you’re young, consider starting a financial plan for your kid to follow and think for themselves. Because once you get old and you body aches everywhere, each day will be a horror story as you try to push yourself to work continuing a lifestyle of hand to mouth (this is from a third world living perspective). When you’re old, there is a physical and mental limitation to what tasks you can accomplish but you still got to do something otherwise you’ll starve and in debt. Maybe I’m a little pessimist when I paint that graphic scene in mind but that’s the impression I got from an 89 year old street sweeper working on a hot summer’s day.
I just think a financial literate person has that moral obligation to pass the knowledge onto the next generation. We are lucky to live in a time where things are starting to be interesting in the world of finance. The traditional way of finance on a global and personal scale is changing. Those that can’t keep up get left behind and the consequence is felt generations after just as my forefathers made their choices for the succeeding generations.
From experience, motivating teenagers to save up works if they have a spending goal in mind. But it’s all alien to them what adulting is and the financial burdens it entails especially as one ages through the workforce. They won’t know their missed chances until they get hit financially. Those college loans won’t be appealing once they know what debt means for their future.
So while they’re young, it’s good to teach them the basics of personal finance like budgeting, saving, and spending within their most. Most important I think is having them develop habits that make them think for themselves. I know we still need traditional institutions for finance but letting them know that are multiple ways to achieve financial freedom goes a long way. I don’t want my kid to think having their money on a bank secures their future. I don’t want them to think that by giving their hard earned money to a mutual fund manager is enough. And I don’t want them to think that they should rely their financial needs in the government that can change their minds depending on the political weather.
The older one gets, the more limited choices that they can afford. It’s not that they no longer are incapable of making choices, but more along the lines of lacking in resources to enforce those choices. My grandma lives with a lot of chronic diseases that eats away her budget sadly. She worked for years in the government that now decreased her benefits and somehow raised the cost of living for everyone else. Looking back, they didn’t have access to crypto, were conditioned that the government would take care of their needs, and living in bliss before recessions took a toll on their funds. We should learn from their past.
When they’re young, financial mistakes tend to be less punishing because they have plenty of time to bounce back. But what can you do for someone that planned their finances too late and are waiting for their time? Certainly not resort to toxic charity.
My own parents are entering their retirement period and was blunt enough to tell me things are getting downhill for them financially. It’s a common thing in Asia where family becomes close knit and parents still live with their kids even when they have a family of their own. I live away from them but dread at the idea that they won’t be able to provide enough for themselves while they’re aging. So I started stacking up some bitcoin and other tokens for that purpose. It’s not much for now but hoping it’ll mount to something eventually.
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