A nation in disgrace
Would you take our children to court if they do not support us when we are old and jobless? This was the question that I posed to my wife after I saw an article by a money blogger who regretted the way he treated his late father. Apparently, he was not on good term with his father and was compelled by the family court to support his father under the Maintenance of Parents Act.
After reading his article, I could feel his remorse, but I was not impressed with him either. To be taken to court by parents is a shameful thing, especially in an Asian society like Singapore, where family disputes are often confined within homes. Because of dignity and face value, very few parents are inclined to haul their children to court for not supporting them. Those who did are usually driven to desperation and forced to make their children pay up.
The Maintenance of Parents Act was promulgated in 1995 to give parents above 60 years old who could not support themselves the legal means to claim maintenance from their children. The implementation of such an Act in a First World country like Singapore shows the lack of social value and filial piety among many Singaporeans. Apparently, such social tragedies are becoming the norm nowadays and the government was even forced to amend the Act in 2010 to make more children support their needy parents.
Even though I am the sole breadwinner, I am still supporting my mother and mother-in-law financially. My wife and I share the same value and believe that this is the right thing to do. This is because our parents’ generation is totally different from our generation.
The baby boomers did not receive good education. They do not understand what is financial planning and how to build wealth when they are young. Because of this, many of them do not have the retirement nest nor the means to support themselves when they grow old. So if we do not support them, they are practically doomed because there is hardly any social security for the poor and elderly in Singapore.
However, my generation is different, We are mostly highly educated and have the opportunities to build wealth in our prime. We know the importance of investing for our future and are able to upgrade our skills and knowledge to enhance our earning abilities. Because of this, we should not have the mentality to rely on our children for financial support when we are old.
It is our responsibilities to secure the kind of retirement lifestyle we aspire. We owe the previous generation too much for giving us such a good head-start, henceforth, starting from this generation, we need to break the cycle.
To become financially independent when we are old, we must start to enhance our earning ability and build wealth in the early stages of our life cycle. This is one of the missions of SG Wealth Builder – to expound how to make money, to build wealth and preserve wealth. Hopefully, readers of my blog would not suffer the terrible fate of using The Maintenance of Parents Act to seek monies from children.
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