Inheritance

Being money wise should be a goal for every adult

A friend called my mom this morning, she has just come out of the hospital. She has fallen from her bed one morning and due to the falling, her old hips were tremendously in pain. She told my mom, sobbing, all of her relatives, everyone that close to her came to visit, everyone but her eldest son. They have a cold relationship lately because this eldest son wants a big portion of her inheritance and shamelessly asked for his part in advance a.k.a he wants it right now even though his mother is still alive and healthy.

Another friend of my mom came to a visit yesterday afternoon. She also has the eldest son who asked for his part of an inheritance in advance. He never pays for her mother’s health care, monthly bills, groceries, and other necessities, but yes, he asked for an inheritance. It’s my right as the eldest son anyway, he said.

I am surprised by this supposedly educated and married adult men who shamelessly ask for inheritance from their parents. In most Bataknese culture, yes the eldest son has the biggest portion of any inheritance available, but this right is followed by huge responsibility. The eldest son should provide a comfortable life for the parents, the eldest should be able to cover all the necessities of his big family, including his wife’s family. In short, any man who is being the eldest son in a Bataknese family should provide for his parents first, and when the parents passed away and still left a sum of inheritance, then, and only then, he may get the inheritance. He too should divide that inheritance in a fair means to his younger brother and sisters beforehand.

Perhaps these men are in a difficult situation financially, so they asked for the inheritance because they think that more money will solve all their financial crisis. I wish to tell them, it’s not going to work, even if they do get the big money, they will go deeper into their financial problem. It is confirmed by many researchers, most people who win the lottery are not living a happy life, they probably happy for about 3-4 months and after that, they are even more miserable compared to their situation before they win the lottery. More money invites more problems (in spider man words: more power means more responsibility). If we have no adequate capacity to manage the money, no matter how much money we have, we can’t live a happy life.

I am a believer now that we all must have financial management skills, you may use any application, enroll in online courses related to financial skills that are widely available out there, but for me, I have been using YNAB for the last two years. And I sincerely must say: if I, who used to spend money just the way I spend time (read: aimlessly) could make a better stand regarding my financial situation now, so are you.

Cheers, may you be safe and healthy, happy and loved.

Karin Sabrina

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