Most Filipinos believe that supporting their parents once they are old is the best way to show “utang na loob” (debt of gratitude). Although the Church (whichever religion you are in) is teaching us about leaving and cleaving, many couples still struggle to leave their parents because of the obligations that are either given to them or they feel that they need to do. That being said, the concept of having an extended family or a shared home became a norm in our country and sadly, it becomes harder and harder to break the chain.
It’s never too late or too early to invest. Migs and I used to practice traditional way of saving money. We used to save a portion of our income to our preferred bank. When I was 22 years old, I tried investing in a life insurance but I failed because I wasn’t really ready to invest yet but I was able to invest on Memorial plans which I do not regret. We thought we were doing well because we were able to save money for our car, a beautiful wedding, leisure, down payment for a house, etc.
Our wake up call was when Migs got sick. Although our Health cards covered the hospital bills, we had to spend a portion of our savings considering that he has been sick for a year. I also had to let go of some of our signature bags and some pieces of jewelry. It was tough and the reason why I am sharing our experience is because I don’t want anyone especially young couples to experience the same thing.
As soon as Migs is back on his feet, I have reached out to several financial advisers so we can start preparing for our retirement fund. In the end, we chose to sign up with Sun Life. We felt that everything that we need and looking for are in one package. Sun Life phone app is also user friendly and lets me monitor our plans wherever we are.
After signing up, we decided that we are ready to have a baby by 2018. But guess what, about 2 weeks of getting our retirement plans – we are already pregnant. It seemed like everything was perfectly planned.
What did we learn from Migs’ near death experience that convinced us to sign up for a Life Insurance?
As parents, it is our responsibility to raise our children no matter what the circumstances may be. We should not obligate them to give us everything that they worked for when we’re old, not even a portion of it. Why? Our children never chose us to be their parents. If you think you cannot send your children to an exclusive school – then don’t. We always have options. Send them to a public school and still be able to provide their basic needs or find another source of income in order to afford your preferred school. We don’t need to live a life full of debts just to be able to fit in or prove something. After all, it’s our family that we should be worried about not a certain status that we’re trying to portray.
As children, let’s allow our our parents to enjoy their retirement fund. They have already raised and have spent their resources for us. They are not our emergency fund. They have worked to hard to provide all our needs.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that it’s bad to help a family member in need. But we should know our limitations too. Part of leaving and cleaving is putting your immediate family’s needs first.