Saving and investing for a child’s marriage, along with their education, is a common goal for most parents. In fact, until a few years ago, all parents considered it their duty to finance the wedding, and the question was not whether to save or not, but how much to spend on it.
Today, the disappearance of pensions, rising expenses, and self-sufficient children mean that parents don’t really need to shoulder the entire financial burden of marriage. However, many continue to do so and give it the same importance as education. While financing a child’s wedding can be a subjective choice depending on one’s financial strength and ability, here are some things to consider if you are concerned that you will not be able to accumulate sufficient funds for the goal.
1. Do your children have stable jobs and are they self-sufficient?
Your first duty as a parent is to provide your child with an education that enables her to become self-sufficient and financially independent. If you have accomplished this and your children have stable jobs with good income, they can save for their own weddings. In fact, for parents struggling to save for retirement, children need to be motivated from the moment they start earning money to invest in their weddings. Parents can contribute whatever they feel comfortable with, but the primary responsibility for financing a wedding should rest with the children themselves.
2. You can help in other ways
While it is not essential that you finance the children’s wedding, if you feel left out, you can contribute in other ways. You could finance the wedding in part by paying for a performance or fixing the jewelry. If even that is not possible, you can help the children plan and arrange for the wedding, be it reservations and confirmations or purchases.
3. Do you have your retirement kitty in place?
Before planning a lavish wedding for the child, check to see if you have saved enough and are on the way to retirement. Not only do you need to have your own home, but also an inflation-adjusted corpus to cover your household expenses for at least 20 years after retirement. You must also ensure that your spouse is financially secure in the event of death. If you’re not ready, start investing for this goal and give it top priority. Only after you have done so should you start saving for the child’s marriage.
4. Children can take a loan
If the children do not have sufficient funds for the marriage, do not feel guilty about not cooperating if you are far below your retirement corpus. Understand that the child can borrow for your wedding, but that you cannot do the same with your retirement or have the ability to pay without income. Also, 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 means to support you in old age.
5. Have you planned your medical expenses?
With rising medical inflation, rising cost of hospitalization, and rising spending on medical necessities after retirement, it is necessary to have adequate medical insurance or a substantial amount of cushioning. If you have health insurance, understand that you will also need to have sufficient funds to pay the large premium each year. In the absence of insurance or a mattress, do not allocate funds to the child’s wedding.