Thursday, 4 October, 2012

Kingfisher Employee's Wife Commits Suicide

Kingfisher Employee's Wife Commits Suicide

The news has been flashing all over TV channels. In case you've missed it, you can see the link here:

She is supposed to have taken this drastic step on account of the "acute" Financial Strain caused by non-payment of salaries for around six months.

Very sad, indeed. For the limited purpose of this blog post, I'm assuming that the news reports are accurate and she did commit suicide due to Financial Strain.

However, some questions arise from the point of view of Financial Planning.

The lady who committed suicide was around 45 years of age. Her husband apparently retired from the Indian Air Force before joining Kingfisher Airlines.

Quite obviously, they must have enjoyed the "benefit" of a regular, steady salary (though perhaps not flashy) for at least a couple of decades. With ENORMOUS savings potential by normal Indian middle class standards.

Further, the pay scale at Kingfisher must have been quite decent (though the salaries apparently have not been paid for the past six months).

The questions that come right off to my mind are:

  1. Did the family never hear about terms such as "regular savings", "Financial Planning", "Investment for Retirement", etc.? If not, why not?
  2. Considering the fact that her husband is an engineer and that her 18-year old son is also an engineering student, chances are bright that their family can be considered to be a "reasonably progressive, educated family". If people belonging to such a background are not aware of the need for fiscal prudence and financial planning, where are we, as a nation, going? What's likely to be the plight of the vast majority of Indians whose financial situation will, in fact, be far worse?
  3. The typical TV debates have been pouncing on the Kingfisher Management and the Government. Why is nobody raising those uncomfortable, politically incorrect questions which lay the blame squarely on the family of the deceased. It may sound cruel and heartless, but it a person who has been enjoying the benefits of a very decent professional life for over two decades has lived the life of a Grasshopper, when winter comes, he should be ready to pay the price. He should not expect the benefits which are presently being enjoyed by the Ant.

If at all we ought to be blaming the Government, it should be to the limited extent of not providing meaningful financial literacy (and hence Financial Independence) to all its citizens after over half a century after obtaining Independence.

Give it a thought!



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N said...

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