I just met a 63 year old woman who had lost her parent. Even though she had a few siblings she was looking after her widower father alone. She was in a ‘old’ peoples home with hardly any friends within a nearby location. Her siblings had to fly in from various parts of the country / world.

She had no clue about either the municipal formalities, banking formalities, or anything else of her late father. She could just bank the cheques mechanically without thinking about it.

She was not a dumb woman. She had a PhD in philosophy, but had given up all that long, long ago for taking care of her demanding husband and 3 kids. Now this great husband in order to “protect” her had always provided her with a car, driver, etc. and she was completely dependant on “somebody” to go out. For her going out meant calling for a taxi – now in the place she lived there were no easy ‘phone a taxi’ . Her husband was traveling and she was alone when her father died. She was shattered – not by the grief, but she was overwhelmed with the task.

she did not access a bank account, did not use the net banking, did not use the atm, the cell phone was only for receiving calls…She could not send or receive a sms. She was reduced to a vegetable.

All her 3 daughters were married and in 3 different parts of the world. To them their grandfather’s death meant Mom was now available as a nanny supervisor. You know the revised dialogue “Mom you need not do anything, Just supervise my nanny who looks after my kids”, amusing is it not!

this is not about being judgemental. If you want your spouse (sorry, I actually mean wife) to live a happy life after your death, TEACH her about money, make a will and ensure that there is enuf money. However if she is a philosophy graduate also tell her not to sign cheques for the bank manager who is selling her a lemon. And leave her enough money that she can tell her own kids “#$%^&’ – i will not look after your kids.

You owe this to your wife, at the very least. The best diwali, eid, or Christmas gift can only be financial awareness.

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