Rant: My Father and His Retirement

Things haven’t been well between my father and I, and we are not speaking to each other. I am in my funk and he happens to be in his. And I am angry with him about a few other things, among which his private comments to my mother about their retirement ranks the highest.

He was complaining about my Mum about not being able to retire because of financial reasons, and one of the things he complained about was his assumption that my sister and I would not be able to carry the family load.

I am pissed because at no time this has been put to us. We can and are prepared to support my parents fully in their retirement. We just haven’t because in all the previous discussions whereby we encouraged my father to shut down his business and retire, he insisted on putting it off because he didn’t know what to do with himself if he did. He also said he would feel totally useless without a job to go to. Unfortunately, his personality is a major obstacle to any possibilities of a part-time job to keep himself occupied. We didn’t offer any further comments since it was obviously his life and his choice.

Since my parents are still both working, my sister and I decided to continue to offer our usual household contributions and sock away the extra for the time when we would need to take over the other full household accounts. All my father needed to do was to let us know his intention to retire, then we can decide the unnecessary expenses to cut back on (the family car being number 1 on my list), and hash out all the details of who pays what. Sure, there will be certain lifestyle deflation; after all, we are going from 4-income family to a 2-income one, but it is an insult to both my sister and I to just assume that we will not be able to bear up under the family load.

My parents’ retirement has been on my mind since day one of my financial awakening, and I have done all kinds of financial case-studies to make sure I am prepared for the day. Now, with one unfounded comment, my father has wiped out all those months of preparation work on my part and made insignificant all the filial intentions that I went into this with. All without even bothering to talk to us about the whole bloody business.

Unfortunately I am kind of constrained this first quarter of the year thanks to the fact that I have to renovate the rental condo and will be doing without rental income for at least two months. But after that, I intend to step up the household contribution substantially, and give my father some kind of allowance, whether he needs it or not, just to shut him up. I’d probably have to do it through my mother because the way I am feeling now, I would probably just throw the cash in my father’s face.


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