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Son and his Parents talking at the park
Health and Financial Wellness

Dealing with retirement worries and the Filipino culture

Living a blissful and worry-free life after retirement is an ideal scenario. Based on a recent study, 90% of Filipinos are worried that it will be a different picture for them—they will have almost nothing in their pocket, with poor health, and with no one to look after them. 

Despite this rather unfavorable outlook, Filipinos are still unprepared for their retirement. According to the 2019 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, the retirement system in the Philippines is among one of the worst in the world, ranking 34th out of 37 countries.1 

This probably stems from the expectation of Filipinos for their families to support them in old age due to the country’s family-oriented culture. This may be evident in some parents who have given their children the responsibility to financially sustain their needs and wants after retirement.

While it may prove otherwise for other parents, the fact remains that most still lack the knowledge to make wise financial decisions thus ending up exhausting their finances and eventually relying on their children. 

It all boils down to this: parents who are not ready for the financial repercussions of retirement might result in the harsh reality that they will pass on the financial burden to their children. 

Passing the torch of economic burden  

Let’s say you were raised in a family where your parents imbibed in you that you are supposed to take care of them when they retire.   

Believing that they have a stable job and income at the moment, they tend to spend their money with the thought that you will handle their future expenses. 

You might end up picking the broken financial pieces and cover for your parents’ expenses in their retirement. The worst-case scenario is that you may adapt this behavior and apply it to your own children, and the cycle continues.  

That’s why it is important for you to learn how to properly handle your money through financial planning and literacy.  

Planning ahead for retirement 

Being financially literate allows you to distinguish your wants and needs. With the right financial knowledge and skills, you’ll better understand your behavior in spending and allocating your  money. This will allow you to make confident financial choices on borrowing, investing, saving and more.2  

Here are a few ways you can become more financially knowledgeable3: 

  • Read trusted publications. Whether it’s finance books, blogs, or articles, it’ll always do you some good to read up and stay updated.  

  • Research on things you don’t understand. There will be quite a number of financial jargon that may be unfamiliar to you so looking those up will most definitely help you. 

  • Look up some courses. If you have the time, you can try checking out classes, whether online or in person, that will teach you more about managing and growing your finances. 

 

With that knowledge, you’ll be able to move forward and make more financially sound decisions. But it’s not, however, a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for you, like reading blogs or studies, may not work for others because every person has a different level of income and financial goals.  

That’s where financial advisors come in. Financial advisors can help you come up with a realistic financial plan that is responsive to your specific needs, figure out your long and short-term goals, and sort out your saving strategies, retirement choices and overall retirement plan. 

Without retirement plans, the possibility of getting poor after working lingers. Lack of financial literacy hinders Filipinos to make sound financial planning. But preparing for retirement provides you financial freedom and helps you diminish the threat of stress and financial burden on your loved ones.  

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References

1. Padin, M. G. (2019, October 23). Retirement system in Philippines among worst worldwide. www.msn.com. https://www.msn.com/en-ph/money/personalfinance/retirement-system-in-philippines-among-worst-worldwide/ar-AAJeyqm

2. Klapper, L., Lusardi, A., & Van Oudheusden, P. (n.d.). Financial Literacy Around the World: INSIGHTS FROM THE STANDARD & POOR’S RATINGS SERVICES GLOBAL FINANCIAL LITERACY SURVEY. https://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/3313-Finlit_Report_FINAL-5.11.16.pdf?x22667

3. Horch, A. J. (2019, December 12). Becoming financially literate is hard - these steps will make it easier. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/12/becoming-finanically-literate-is-hard---these-steps-will-make-it-easier.html