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Asian Parenting: Financial Decisions You Are Now Making For Your Parents

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Unbeknownst to many, Asian parents start imparting financial advice to their kids even before they’ve barely learnt how to ride a bicycle. These came in the form of mostly nagging, but also at times great waves of wisdom. If you were raised in a typical Singaporean family, then these “mantras” of wealth advice would be nothing new to you.

  • Study hard, don’t get distracted trying to work to earn money. (This is often very hypocritical as parents nag incessantly about how much of their money you have spent..)

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  • If you don’t get a good job, you’ll just be a disappointment to yourself. (and also your whole village)
  • Save as much money as you can / Save EVERYTHING!
  • Let me handle your money for you
  • Get a roof over your head before anything else!
  • Marry into a rich family (she/he should also have 101 other amazing qualities while at it)
  • Count your change carefully before leaving the cashier (make sure to fight for that missing 10cents!!!)
  • Cook and eat meals at home as much as you can, otherwise, pack your own lunch to go
  • Fix things around the house, don’t ever throw
  • Donate a bit here and there, gain good karma for your wealth
  • Don’t shake your leg, all your money will drop out.

How many of these statements do you think still impact your life today, and how many of them are actually bad advice?

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On the contrary, what are some financial decisions that you are now (having grown up), making for your parents?

1. Your parents might be spending their retirement money on the wrong things like MLM or ‘miracle water’.

This is certainly not unfamiliar to many of us. The more our parents age, the more naive and stubborn they get. One moment they bring home an age-old Lingzhi for eternal health, the next moment they are coercing you to drink miracle water which they purchased somewhere off WhatsApp because “my friend said it’s good”.

Read more: ”My Mum Is In Her Final Stage of Cancer; My Dad Spent His Savings On MLM”

2. Your parents expect you to give them a monthly sum out of filial piety, but you can’t afford it.

It is common these days that children and parents have an unspoken rule about paying back your parents for raising you. If Asian parenting was done right, we as children would naturally look after our parents in several aspects beyond just monetarily.

Read more: Giving Your Parents Monthly Allowance? Here’s How You Can Make Full Use Of It!

3. They are getting old and need care, but living with them is not an option

The key to this is early preparation, taking care of their debts, law papers and providing for them. This eases the responsibility when you are unable to be physically around.

Read more: My Parents’ Retirement: What Can I Do To Protect Them, Their Future and My Future? and Lasting Power of Attorney

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4. One or both of your parents are physically disabled and you have to finance their long-term care cost.

When early preparation is ruled out and you are forced to act in a short time due to accident or sudden illness, it is always good to be in the know of what covers your parents’ mountainous healthcare bills, and how you can protect yourself too.

Read more: Everything About CareShield Life, How Different From ElderShield? and Dependants’ Protection Scheme (DPS): All You Need to Know About DPS in 5 Minutes


Some commonly discussed questions on protection for your parents:

  • My parents are only covered by NTUC assist rider with no life insurance/CI plans. As a fresh grad earning more than $3000, I’m not sure if I should get CI and/or life insurance for my parents. What do you think? Read More

  • What are some good ways to give allowance to your parents? Read More

  • What hospitalisation plan to get for parents? Private or Govt hospital? I am paying over 3k annually for the rider for my mum who is active and healthy? Read More

Woohoo! You got to the end of the article.

Leave a comment with an Asian meme/gif so we know 😉

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