I am worried stiff over my one and only son. When I was in my late 60s, I had my son with a woman half my age. I had a bitter divorce with my then wife. She got custody of our two girls. My ex-wife and I are civil. It is the same with my daughters. My ex-wife was a great mother but poor wife in my estimation. The children are now adults and doing very well.
My son is doing well at prep school and will, in two years, sit the GSAT. I am worried about him. I retired shortly after he was born. I was in a good job but had expected that they would have kept me on the job since I was a very good employee and had all my faculties in tact.
A couple years after, I became ill and the medical bills drained my resources. My present wife is no fool but she stays home to care for me and her son. My savings are dwindling and my son has not even reached high school as yet. Definitely, my resources will not help him through university. My adult children will not help as they blame me for the divorce from their mother. I am worried and not sure what to do. I had hoped that we would play football together when he becomes a teenager, but all those dreams have been shattered. I am worried.
A: There are challenges in having a child in your late 60s. As you have found out, there is no guarantee that your employer will retain your services. You should have anticipated such a possibility. Furthermore, you should have added at least 18 years to your life to ascertain the extent of the risk you were taking in having a baby at that age. So if you were 68 and you add 18, then you would be 86 when he would be ready to pursue a degree at a university.
It is probably too late now, but you should be playing football with him before he becomes a teenager. You need to be creating pleasant memories of you as father doing things together.
I hope that while you were working you took out an insurance policy with your son as the beneficiary and also one for his educational advancement. If you did not, then your financial situation is more complicated than you think.
It seems that your loving wife will have to find a caregiver for you while she finds a job and/or creates her own employment. Thankfully, she is educated and should be able to get a decent job. It may take some time to find a job, so she needs to create a job in the meantime. She will have to become the breadwinner rather than a dependent.
Your adult children have no obligation to care for their brother. They could do it out of the generosity of their heart. Please do not pressure them or your ex-wife to feel responsible for your son.
You need to seek the counsel of a financial adviser who would look at your assets and obligations and help you out of this rut. In the meantime, prepare yourself to make some tough decisions. For example, you might have to pull him from prep school and try and settle him in a public school, which is less expensive. He might resist because he will be missing his friends, but take the time to explain to him your finances. Some of your friends may even laugh at you, but it is better to take the hard decisions now for your son's long-term survival.