Should it be an emotional no-brainer and you should help them no matter what? After all, they are your parents and have always been by your side. Or should you weigh the pros and cons before shelling out a few lakhs of rupees? To ease your dilemma, ask yourself these questions before taking a decision to offer financial help.
Are they medically fit?
While it is one thing to be inspired to fulfil your dreams irrespective of age, it is quite another to be physically capable of doing it. After retirement, one is typically beset by medical problems that may hinder one’s ability to function. So assess their health and medical condition, and have a realistic discussion with them.
Ask them about their ability to cope with the physical demands of the venture they want to get into, as well as the number of hours they will be required to put in versus the amount of work they are capable of. It will not only be a waste of effort and money if they set it up only to realise it is beyond their ability to run it. More importantly, it may result in severe disappointment for them.
Will they also require physical assistance?
Before you offer financial help, discuss the project in detail with your parents. Will they only require financing or physical help from you as well? Will they need to hire staffers and be able to do so on their own or will you have to do it for them? If you are to devote time and do the initial legwork for them, you may need to reschedule your work routine. So have clearly defined physical and financial expectations and check whether you can fulfil these.
How much money do they require?
The next important question is, of course, the extent of financial help they require. If they are funding most of it themselves and only need you to finance a fraction of the cost, which you can easily afford, do not hesitate at all. If, however, you are expected to finance the entire project, you could may have to opt for a loan, rope in other siblings to shoulder the financing, or help them liquidate some of their assets to enable partial funding.
What is your financial situation?
Do consider your own financial strength before taking on this responsibility. If you have just acquired a new job and don’t have the wherewithal to finance it, be upfront and tell them, while suggesting other means to finance the project. If you are financially comfortable and can easily write off the amount, go ahead and help them. If, however, you are in dire straits yourself because of the Covid situation and are unable to help them, let them know that too.
Are you looking for repayment?
Be very clear about your expectations from the project. Are you just offering the money without any expectation of returns or profits? Or perhaps you want the amount to be treated as a loan? Then again, maybe you just want to help without any expectations and are treating it as a gift to your parents. In the former two cases, do not hesitate to have a clear written agreement with them.
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All of us have been in a financial dilemma when it comes to relationships. How do you say no to a friend who wants you to invest in his new business venture? Should you take a loan from your married brother? Are you concerned about your wife’s impulse buying? If you have any such concerns that are hard to resolve, write in to us at email@example.com with ‘Wealth Whines’ as the subject.
Disclaimer: The advice in this column is not from a licensed healthcare professional and should not be construed as psychological counselling, therapy or medical advice. ET Wealth and the writer will not be responsible for the outcome of the suggestions made in the column.