And for another Friday, some thoughts….. some musings…..
My interactions in the three cities that we now live in, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Trivandrum as well as visiting some of the Moffusil areas and villages around, dealing with my own personal staff and friends, I see the deteriorating standards of Old age care – both for the poorer sections and the middle classes. No doubt in India, still there is lot of respect and importance on providing care and protection to Parents and Elderly. But the breakdown of the Joint Family System, the migration to US, Australia, Middle East and other cities within India, the growing economic needs of younger parents for the welfare of their own families, marriages outside of the traditional system and the longevity of life, is widening the Rift between Old dependent Parents and their wards. Concerning and particularly vulnerable will be the single parent if left without financial security.
Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act 2007, now makes it a legal obligation for children and heirs to provide maintenance and arrange monthly allowances. Maintenance is defined to include provisions for food, clothing, residence and medical treatment upto 10,000 Rs per month. Also, just because Property is already willed and transferred, if the Senior citizen is not cared for, he/she can under the Act reclaim the property from the Transferee.
With the World becoming a Global Village, interest rates are crumbling and financial instruments are getting technologically advanced. No longer can a middle class family depend on Bank FDs for a regular income nor will Gold be the Emergency Saviour (informal venues to pawn Gold and raise emergency Cash are extinguishing). Like it or not, each one of us must be comfortable with operating a 3 in 1 Account – Savings, Demat and online trading. Even one share of 10 Rs can be traded. Few Evergreen Shares are a Must. SWPs (Systemic Withdrawal Plan) from dependable Mutual Fund, Monthly Annuity from LIC and reputed Private Insurance like HDFC Life, Tax free Bonds, Gold ETFs, RBI Gold Bonds, REITs etc. etc. must be in the cash inflows.
Let us empower ourselves and those dependent on us. Domestic help and personal staff must be encouraged to take the Atal Bima Yojana, Suraksha Bima – only Rs 12 Premium. Let us care for our Elderly and poor, the Ethical way, the Technologically savvy way, the SEEGOS way.