Its always an incredible journey from the wee hour of marriage to twilight zone of old age. While it is true that we cannot take anything with us when we depart for the heavenly abode, proper planning can undoubtedly make life easier during our sunset years.
Its always an incredible journey from the wee hour of marriage to twilight zone of old age. As the nature rules over life, one has to stay back in world by giving a bid adieu to the other leaving behind the memory of love, compassion and support of an entire life. Indeed, those last years of singlehood needs special care, be it financially or emotionally.
Remembering those days when marriages were mostly arranged and the groom was older not less than five years or more than the bride. Todays’ elderly citizens fall in this category. One can come across many acquaintances whose parents are in seventies or older and the age difference between the spouses is quite high. As in most of the cases, women live longer than men and a situation emerge where the husband dies and the wife has to take care of herself for another 10 to 15 years, without her husband, mostly alone and sometime with a financial hardship.
Decades ago, taking care of elderly parents was not a major issue as families stayed together. However, in today’s circumstances, things have changed. Many children have been sent abroad to study and work, and they have settled there while their parents remain in Bharat. Although some children invite their parents to stay with them abroad, many parents decline as they cannot adjust to the lifestyle. Moreover, most children do not want to come back to Bharat due to various reasons. There are also instances where young couples do not wish to stay with their parents, especially after marriage.
Have we prepared ourselves for this eventuality? Consider a scenario where a person dies at the age of 75, leaving behind a 70-year-old spouse. The spouse will have to take care of herself for another ten years or so, and although she may have her children to look after her, this may not always be the case.
For single elderly women, health and finances will be major concerns, and safety will be another issue that needs to be taken care of. An attendant or two will always be required, and all of these will cost money.
It is worth mentioning that, after the death of the husband, the outlook of children towards their mother can often change. Newspapers frequently carry stories of such cases, and Bollywood has even made films about this social problem.
Planning for such a scenario needs to start when a person is at the peak of their career. A place to live and sufficient funds are the basic necessities. While it is true that we cannot take anything with us when we depart for the heavenly abode, proper planning can undoubtedly make life easier during our sunset years.
This planning should include deciding where to save money, who operates the accounts, etc. It is essential to share details of all assets, bank accounts, and a list of creditors and debtors with one’s spouse. In the case of sudden death, it is also important to have information about life insurance and health insurance policies. It is wise to name a nominee or have joint accounts in banks to ensure that withdrawing money is not difficult for one’s spouse after one’s departure.
Many social media posts discuss such situations and suggest dos and don’ts. For example, they advise against giving away all of one’s possessions to one’s children until the end. It is also advisable to make a will outlining how funds and assets should be distributed after one’s death and the death of one’s spouse. However, while one is alive or one’s spouse is alive, it must be ensured that enough funds are set aside for one’s needs over which one has full control.
We must all pray for a peaceful end, good health, and a sudden shift to the heavenly abode. However, not all wishes are fulfilled, and we must prepare ourselves for the unforeseen.
Vijay Maroo, an Engineering graduate, is a volunteer with EKAL Abhiyan, Vidya Bharati, and Param Shakti Peeth, Vrindavan. He has launched https://neversayretired.in – a resource for Senior Citizens towards Nation Building. He is also the brain behind https://BharatMahan.in – a portal for positive news. You can follow him on Twitter @VijayMaroo.
4 thoughts on “In Pursuit of a Better Life of Your Better-half in Twilight Zone of Life”
Guidance from educated and wise elders like you are much needed. Great going, uncle!
Excellently written, abs true.
Just went through your portal
Very relevant issues
We all are /will be facing
Glad to go through it
Yes ..please don’t reveal names and emails
It’s a matter of fact.zOld parents should not give land.wealth and property to sons and daughters rather try independency for them.