Retirees shouldn’t have to suffer after financing children’s education

0

It would be morally wrong if parents have to endure hardship in their twilight years just because they spent all their money on their children’s education, says Benedict Lopez.

A friend and former colleague of mine at the ministry of human resources, Ganapathy Ramasamy, wrote an interesting piece in The Star (17 June 2016) about the dilemma and challenges facing retirees.

In his article, Gana offers some useful advice for all public and private sector employees who will eventually retire one day.

Planning for retirement should not start a few years before retirement but the moment one’s working life begins.

When civil servants retire, they must learn to live within the lump sum gratuity received and their monthly pension.

For the others under the Employees Provident Fund scheme, it is a question of managing the lump sum money received upon retirement. EPF contributors also have the option to leave any amount in their account and to only withdraw the interest portion.

Gana, who retired as director of industrial relations after more than 25 years’ service, is the author of the book Discipline at Work. He highlights the need to have limitations on parental obligations towards children wishing to pursue tertiary education.

A pragmatic decision should be made based on the financial considerations of the parents. If the parents cannot afford it, then children have to try and find alternative sources of financing for their education. It would be morally wrong if parents have to endure hardship in their twilight years just because they spent all their money on their children’s education.

READ MORE:  Prioritise repair, maintenance of court live-link facilities

Children too have a moral responsibility to support their parents if they know that their parents have exhausted all their savings on their education.

Gana cites the example of a person who spent his EPF and sold his house to educate his children for medicine in anticipation of their supporting him financially. But that individual was disappointed when his hope was dashed, and he was ultimately forced to live in a low-cost house.

It is important for a retiree and spouse to be able to live a reasonably good life after retirement with basic necessities and perhaps even occasional inexpensive pleasures.

Besides ensuring financial security, Gana advises retirees to ensure they spend their time productively, perhaps by engaging in social work. With time at their disposal, they should also exercise regularly to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

Thanks for dropping by! The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

Our voluntary writers work hard to keep these articles free for all to read. But we do need funds to support our struggle for Justice, Freedom and Solidarity. To maintain our editorial independence, we do not carry any advertisements; nor do we accept funding from dubious sources. If everyone reading this was to make a donation, our fundraising target for the year would be achieved within a week. So please consider making a donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB Bank account number 8004240948.
Avatar
Benedict Lopez was director of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority in Stockholm and economics counsellor at the Malaysian embassy there in 2010-2014. He covered all five Nordic countries in the course of his work. An eternal optimist and now an Aliran member, he believes Malaysia can provide its people with the same benefits and privileges found in the Nordic countries - not a far-fetched dream but one that he hopes will be realised in his lifetime
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments