Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Managing your own money, property & other assets

Leading Chartered Psychologist and Counsellor Dr Monika M Dass presents her view and advice on the all-critical money and property matters

People differ in their attitudes about and relationships with money. A healthy attitude requires self-confidence, the ability to prioritise, save and, when necessary, say “no”. Unfortunately, this does not describe a great many spenders who, according to Dr Brad Klontz of ‘Psychology Today’, display self-destructive and self-limiting financial behaviours characteristic of money disorders. Klontz relates the development of money worshiping and money avoidance back to “financial flashpoints” – painful or traumatic life events associated only with money. But others take a broader approach, incorporating all life events that affect and shape personalities.

A combination of personality traits and states rather than a single trait or state most often influences spending. A trait is a permanent, stable personality characteristic and, in reference to spending, includes such things as confidence, persistence, patience and observance. A state is an emotional reaction such as anger, depression or frustration, the way a person typically reacts in a given situation. Personality states also can be the root cause of emotional spending, which alone or in combination with personality traits, can have devastating financial effects.

Money worshipers range from money hoarders to compulsive shoppers. Financial flashpoints such as childhood poverty or wealth, the internalisation of unspoken messages from parents or even significant investment losses later in life can all create personality traits that affect spending. Insecure or fearful personalities may become money hoarders as they struggle to create a world in which they feel safe and secure. Money hoarding often increases during periods of stress or anxiety. People with low self-esteem may use compulsive spending as a way to validate and make themselves feel important or as a way to escape from the worries and anxieties of everyday life.

Money avoidance often manifests itself in denial or financial rejection. Indecisive persons may be so afraid of making wrong financial decisions that they either minimise or refuse to face financial realities and in the end make poor financial decisions or no decisions at all. While this may not directly affect daily spending, refusing to balance a cheque book or pay a monthly credit card bill can make a bad financial situation worse. Financial rejection is spending, but often in a different way. Although it can relate to overspending, people who for whatever reason cannot save any amount of money without feeling guilty often donate money to charities or give money to family members and friends without considering the effect this may have on their current or future financial situation.

Dealing with Family & Money Issues

Should you give your grownup kid money or simply decline?

Six Questions to Keep in Mind:

  • Is it a one-time help or has it been a frequent demand?
  • Is it likely to impact your retirement?
  • Is the money for a life-threatening situation or buying an asset?
  • Is the money to be given as loan?
  • Should you have a written agreement?
  • Are the other siblings aware of it?

Important points for consideration:

  1. Be sensible in your own handling of property, money, jewellery, and any other assets.
  2. Do not let emotions take over; however much you may love your children (and no one doubts this), money has a way of making people ‘giddy’; greed may take over; the wrong advice and influence of spouses may take over.
  3. Do not hand over property, money, any assets in terms of jewellery etc., to any child/children in your family.
  4. Make a Will. All this can be handed over to them in the future; after you pass on; NOTHING to be given before.
  5. Property of any sort should be in your name primarily. You are the owner; not your son or daughter!
  6. Remember, you are in charge of your bank accounts and other finances. Get a Chartered Accountant to handle all this for you. Someone, preferably, who you know and trust; who is not easily influenced by the opinions of your children.
  7. Be cautious in terms of divesting your wealth to your children and whoever else you would like to include. Be fair. Daughters and sons deserve equal rights. So does your spouse. She/He comes first.

8. One very important aspect of this is to remember to WILL everything to your spouse (if she/he is alive). Let them take over and live the rest of their lives comfortably.

9. Keep yourself busy during the day and avoid arguments and major discussions on these issues.

10.  Karma has a way of paying back. Be Kind, Be Gentle, Be Firm, Be Loving, Be Fair and Just, Be Caring, Be Joyful, Live life to the full but not in a Careless way, Be Careful who you Trust but learn to trust everyone till you burn your fingers, Be the way you want others to treat you….and so on. Live your life well, in a balanced manner and enjoy every moment you have been given.

11. Bringing up children is not easy. Trying to be a good parent is not easy. However, keeping the above point in mind, remember, that if you have been a good parent, you should not have too much trouble later…because your children have been brought up the correct way…with good values…and the fact that they care about you. Your well-being is of utmost importance to them.

12.The Delhi High Court has ruled that if elderly parents have transferred their property in the name of children and the children do not take care of them after the transfer of the property, they (the parents) can cancel the transfer and children will be legally bound to return the property.

13.What is Section 23 of the Senior Citizens Act?

Noticing that Section 23 (1) of the Act, 2007 explicitly stipulates that in case the children fail to take care of their parents after transfer of their parent’s property in their favour, the said transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and shall at the

Central Government Act – Section 23(1) in The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007

  • (1) Where any senior citizen who, after the commencement of this Act, has transferred by way of gift or otherwise, his property, subject to the condition that the transferee shall provide the basic amenities and basic physical needs to the transferor and such transferee refuses or fails to provide such amenities and physical needs, the said transfer of property shall be deemed to have been made by fraud or coercion or under undue influence and shall at the option of the transferor be declared void by the Tribunal.

We live in a beautiful world. How we build our lives is up to us. India is still not as advanced as many other places in the world, in terms of Senior Citizen Care. The laws that govern us are still not clear and not too much in favour of a Senior Citizen, particularly if they have handed over everything to their children, in their lifetime. So, please be very Cautious and Careful!

Do not let your adult children push the button that triggers your need for acceptance and attention from them. If you are willing to say no, just do so. Emotions of fear, hope, guilt, remorse, or threat should not direct your feelings.

Lastly, remember that you are the sole owner of what you have earned in your lifetime and being your children does not give them the right to your assets and money. You may use it for your retirement, or secure your grandchildren’s future with it, or even give it out in charity – you have the right to spend it any which way you like!

I would like to end with a quote: “Freedom is not I-don’t-care-or-whatever-attitude. That’s ignorance. True freedom is I-know-what’s-at-stake-and-therefore-I’ll-act-accordingly.” Be Responsible, Be Free.


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  1. I have read this highly valuable advices and I admit, I am ardent believer in the situation presented in various format. I hope that anyone reading it, will not pick a line that they BELIVE is happening to them and then ignore the rest of the article. It will be advisable to read the content several times and analyze the situation as a whole before jumping to conclusions.
    Thank you for sharing this write up with the us. I will send them to my Childress who are also very much grown up. It is useful to all


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