Nervously biting my fingernails, I watched my father scan through the morning paper, his steaming cup of coffee on the table beside him. I tried to talk, but words failed me. In fact, I wasn’t even sure how to start the conversation with him. But mustering every ounce of courage, I spoke. ‘Dad, I have something to say.' Folding his newspaper with utmost care, my father glanced at me quizzically. Slowly, he nodded his head; both acknowledging me and asking me to continue. ‘I want to do my Masters. And I want to do it abroad' , I continued, while observing my father’s face for any change in expression. I’d never communicated a desire to go abroad to study before. So naturally, I’d expected my parents to be surprised when I suddenly dropped this bombshell on them. But my father merely smiled and said, ‘We’ve got you covered’.
That was all he said. He never went into the nitty gritty of the ‘hows and whys’, but merely told me that he was prepared. As someone who had just stepped into his twenties, I didn’t pay too much attention either. After all, I was more excited about the fact that I was going abroad to fulfil my dream.
It wasn't until a decade later - happily married and a one-year old infant in tow - that the enormity of what my father had said, dawned on me. Curious to know more, I approached him once again; this time to know more.
‘Did you ever wonder why we were never surprised when you said you wanted to go abroad for your Masters? After all, we are just a middle-class family.’ he asked, as I settled down on the sofa across from him.
I merely shook my head.
‘Systematic and smart investments’ he replied, with a smile on his face. ‘As parents, we must always plan for our child’s future. We did too.’
Looking back, that was perhaps the best piece of advice that my father gave to me - that as parents, we must always be prepared for our children’s aspirations. I’ll be honest - prior to being a parent, I’d never been someone who thought so much about ‘saving money’ or ‘investing money smartly’. But that conversation with my father, suddenly made me realise that if we wanted to give our son the freedom to chase his dreams, like our parents did for us, it was imperative that we start planning ahead.
Today, kids have an almost infinite list of careers to choose from. From chefs to pilots and fashion designers to entrepreneurs, the possibilities are literally endless. To top all of that, kids of this generation have much better and stronger ideas about what they want to be, when they grow up; probably more than you and I did at a similar age. And that makes it all the more important for us parents to be prepared when they suddenly drop the big news on us.
But that leads us to the bigger question. How do we do it? How do we make sure we have invested enough money wisely so that we can help our kids fulfil their dreams?
It is at this point that pioneers like Axis Mutual Fund become our life-saviours and guide us through this otherwise complicated maze of investments and equities. In the past, Axis MF have run plenty of campaigns to highlight the importance of planning for various life goals - right from their catchy and offbeat campaign of ‘sharing less with the Taxman’ to 'setting a date for your desires'.
And now, they’re once again revolutionising 'investments' by boldly telling us parents : ‘#DoYourHomework’.
Come to think of it, isn’t that the perfect way for us to start the process? To make sure that we’re on the same page with our children, when it comes to their future. If I asked you today, what your plans for your kids were - you’d have some ideas. But what if your kid has a different plan? This forms the core of the #DoYourHomework campaign.
To get the ball rolling, an interesting experiment was initiated with a group of parents and their kids; while the kids were asked to draw a picture of what they wanted to be in the future, the parents were asked to paint a picture of what they thought the kids would want to be. And the results were eye-openers for all of them. You can see the video here.
So now that you know what your kids want, what next? How do you plan for something that you have no idea about? Easy-peasy. With the #DoYourHomework platform, Axis MF have created a module that will help us parents calculate an approximate cost of education for your kid’s chosen careers. Yes, taking things like inflation into account too. What’s more, it’ll even suggest an ideal amount that you need to invest so everything works smoothly like clockwork. Works like a charm, even for mathematically challenged people like me.
But that’s not all. As part of the campaign, they have also introduced children’s books that encourage kids to explore various different careers in the best way they know - by reading short stories, painting pictures or solving crosswords around these professions. They even have on-ground activities at various Crossword Bookstores across the country and Kidzania in Mumbai, where parents were encouraged to take part in a small activity to make sure if they were on the same page as their kids.
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As parents, we only want the best for our kids. If there’s one thing we could wish for, it would be for them to dream big and soar high. So, maybe it’s time for us to plan and invest wisely, so they have the freedom to do so too.
This is a sponsored post. However the thoughts, opinions and creative processes are all mine. It's also a true story. Also note: Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme related documents carefully