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Old Age Planning

13 April 2014, 20:00
I'm so glad I belong to a community that's culture includes planning for the future. My family's culture of fore planning started with my grandfather. He was farmer who grew up in an era when farming was really harsh, farms were very isolated due to undeveloped infrastructure like roads. 

As little money as he made, he still saved enough to pay for the education of his children, one of whom ended up being my father. He planned his family, he only had two children so that he could afford to give them the best opportunity's in life.

My father was not exceptionally clever, but studied very hard at school, and ended up getting good matric results. It was a culture that in order to achieve results in life, hard work and sacrifice were required. He even got a bursary, which ended up in my grandfather having more money for retirement.

The culture in my family was that you must never be a burden to your children, and old people were fiercely independent. They wanted their lives to themselves, they did not want to have the burden of caring for their children's children until death. The way to escape this burden was to stay independent, and do the best possible to ensure their children became independent of them. The family visited regularly, but carried on separate lives ones the children left the "nest".

My father adopted the same approach with me and my brother. A small family to ensure he could pay for our education and look after us, giving us a kickstart in life. We both ended up getting tertiary qualifications, and are today independent. I can afford to look after my mom when she needs. She wants her independence, so lives on her "own" with her sister and brother as company. (dads gone now)
I like my culture in this regard. I see in other cultures old people don't have independence. They live at home with their siblings and their siblings, and never really get a chance to rest after long lives. They end up having to look after their children's children. They end up having to use their measly pensions to contribute to households, which include some lazy layabout youngsters. They are never allowed to earn the rest that old age has given them the right to. 

I don't like the way some of "my" people dump their old parents in old age homes. This is a truth for which a part of my community must be ashamed of. But most of my community looks after their old very well, and many of the old have done a very good job of looking after themselves. By and large, I think the old in my community have much happier and carefree "old" years than community's which keep them dependent for convenience.

I think it would be nice if government could keep spending on old age homes, where the old can be set free from their families. I believe all old people should have this choice. Lots of money should be spent on these homes to ensure these old people are properly cared for. Old age homes for poor old people is a good culture. People forcing old people to be child minders and money providers should be punished.
I personally am investing in a retirement village. I aim to be independent when old, and retirement villages offer me this. I have no children, so have nobody to rely on to care for me when I'm old. I want to be nobody's burden, and also do not wish to suffer in my old age due to not taking care of my future now. I come from a culture where you take responsibility for yourself, you don't spend life always as a dependent. I'm proud of this culture, I believe its a culture that has developed according to the needs current realities. I don't need some pathetic politician telling me my culture is race related.
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