Baghban: A life lesson for the investors

Friday, Aug 18 2017,

Baghban is a captivating and a heart melting hindi movie with a mix of all the bollywood masala, emotions and songs. You all might remember crying an ocean at the melodramatic scenes, fluttering at the peppy numbers, going awww at the fairy-tale chemistry between Amitabh and Hema Malini, but might not have looked at it from a financial point of view. In this article, we will review the movie from a financial angle. Although the film was critically acclaimed for direction, story, acting, etc., it also has a very important life message for it's viewers. The movie was a perfect example of “the backlash of no retirement planning”.

In Baghban, Amitabh Bachchan has four kids and he spends all his money on the upbringing of his kids and meeting his family needs, as many Indian families do, he even takes a loan against his gratuity for his sons, expecting that his sons will take care of the old couple after retirement. Amitabh retires, and then came the series of atrocities. None of the sons is willing to take responsibility of the poor couple, they finally decide to split them, with one parent living with one son for six months and then rotating to another son. Next lies a life of dismay for the couple, and the misery is accentuated because of the grief of living separately. Finally after six months, when the date of moving them to the other son came, the couple decide to elope, thus leaving their future to fate, since they have no money.

In the movie, fate was on the couple's side, and their adopted son, Salman Khan, bumps in to take care of his mum and dad. Luck favours them a little more, Amitabh had been writing a book on his plight during those six months in his son's house, the book gets published and it is a huge success. Amitabh gets immense appreciation and huge money from the sales of the book, to take care of the rest of his life.

This film has taught us a very important lesson for life, “Plan for your Retirement”

We all want to give the best education and quality of life to our children, but in the process many parents forget about their own future. Getting our kids into the best schools and colleges or foreign universities cost a bomb. And in order to pay for the skyrocketing fee and expenses, or to sponsor our kids' extravagant weddings, we sell our investments, property, we compromise on our present and even put our future on stake.

The idea is not discouraging you from spending on your kids, and saving for your retirement only, rather keeping both, your retirement and kids' future separate. The money that you have saved for your retirement is not meant for your kids' education and the kids' education money is distinct from your retirement money. Here, you must keep in mind that most times people withdraw from their retirement corpus because they have either not planned or under planned for their kids. You need to carefully plan for both goals independently. And this should be followed religiously at all times.

Secondly, nuclear families are becoming the norm. Parents wish to retire in a serene and quiet place, in the hills or along the beach and want to spend a peaceful life, away from the hustle and bustle of cities. While the kids want to have an independent life in the cities, some even move abroad for their careers. And the kids may not be able to afford or willing to take care of two families. So, if you want to live your dream of a peaceful retirement, you need to save & plan for your future financial independence.

The bottomline is, neither are we getting any messiah 'Salman Khan', nor are we becoming a celebrity writer. Sadly real life is different from reel life. There is an interesting dialogue between Amitabh Bachchan and his boss when he wants to take a loan against his gratuity for his son, the latter advises Amitabh “Retirement ke baad apna paisa hi sabse badi taakat hota hai”. And it holds absolutely true. So, during your working life, ensure that you are investing for securing enough strength for your post-retirement years. Love your children, spend time with them, give them a good education, but do not be a traitor to your own future. Manage your finances in a way that you are able to gratify your kids' future as well as yours.

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