Today, disappearing pensions, rising expenses and self sufficient children mean that parents don’t really need to shoulder the entire financial burden of the marriage. Yet, many continue to do so and accord it the same importance as education. While financing a child’s wedding may be a subjective choice depending on one’s financial strength and ability, here are some things you should consider if you are worried you will not be able to amass sufficient funds for the goal.
1. Do you have your retirement kitty in place?
Before you plan a lavish wedding for the child, check whether you have saved enough and are on track for your retirement. You not only need to have your own house but also an inflation-adjusted corpus to take care of your household expenses till at least 20 years after retirement. You also need to ensure that your spouse is financially secure if you were to pass away. If you aren’t prepared, start investing for this goal and give it top priority. Only after you have achieved it should you start saving for the child’s marriage.
2. Have you planned for your medical expenses?
With surging medical inflation, rising cost of hospitalisation and increased spending on medical needs after retirement, you either need to have adequate health insurance or a substantial buffer amount. If you have medical insurance, understand that you will also need to have sufficient funds to pay the large premium every year. In the absence of either insurance or a buffer, don’t allocate funds to the child’s wedding.
3. Do your children have stable jobs and are self-sufficient?
Your first duty as parents is to equip your child with education that can enable him to become self-sufficient and financially independent. If you have accomplished this and your children are in stable jobs with good incomes, they can save for their own weddings. In fact, for parents struggling to save for retirement, the children need to be encouraged from the moment they start earning to invest for their weddings. Parents can pitch in with whatever they are comfortable with, but the primary responsibility for funding a wedding should lie with the children themselves.
4. Kids can take a loan
If the children do not have adequate funds for the marriage, do not feel guilty about not pitching in if you are way short of your retirement corpus. Understand that the child can take a loan for his wedding, but you can’t do the same for your retirement or have the repaying ability without an income. Besides, it is better to be financially independent in retirement than to be at the mercy of your children, who may or may not have the wherewithal to support you in old age.
5. You can help in other ways
While it is not essential for you to fund the children’s wedding, if you do feel left out, you can contribute in other ways. You could finance the wedding partially by paying for one function or arranging for the jewellery. If even that is not possible, you could help the kids with planning and making arrangements for the wedding, whether it is bookings and confirmations or shopping.
Disclaimer: The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.
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