Celebrate Independence Day with Financial Independence!

Happy Independence Day! Today commemorates the proclamation of  Philippines' sovereignty and independence from hundred years of Spanish colonization. It's Freedom Day!

For most Filipinos now, Independence Day means a day off from work. Heavy traffic along Edsa tells me that families and friends are trooping out of town, taking advantage of the long weekend. I wonder though if everyone is ready to spend money for their vacation. Had they been keeping aside money specifically saved for leisure? Is it from extra money kept in the bank or earnings from investments? Or were they crossing their fingers for the mid-month pay check to arrive early?

I'd say that the best way to celebrate Independence Day is to declare Financial Independence. Financial Independence may mean differently for each one. It may be the ability to spend cash for a grand vacation, or having money saved up for their child's college fees and for retirement. It can also be the feeling of security with knowing you can take care of your self and your loved ones in case of medical needs.



Recently, Sun Life of Canada (Philipppines), Inc., the country's longest standing life insurance company, commissioned the Social Weather Station to conduct a survey on Filipinos' financial preparedness. According to Sun Life President and CEO Riza Mantaring, this is what they concluded from the survey:
"There seems to be a disconnect between the Filipino's priorities and concerns and the way they financially prepare for these. They are worried about their health and possible illness but they do not prepare financially. Most of them rely on their active income or on other people to fund their needs. What we need to remember is that wealth and health go hand in hand."
This statement came from alarming numbers found on the survey results:
  • 1 of 2 Filipinos are planning to make expensive purchase within the next two years
  • 7 of 10 Filipinos are worried about their financial situation with most concern centering on health
  • of those numbers, 90% worries about the death of a breadwinner or a family member suffering from grave illness and the inability to pay for huge medical expenses
  • only 6 of 10 respondents say that they are prepared financially in the event of a grave illness in the family. 
Are Filipinos really prepared financially? Not according to the survey. How do we address that? Sun Life had declared June as Financial Independence Month and lined up a list of events that will help us be financially prepared for different life events.

#Fit2Live

"Health is Wealth" is such a worn out phrase but it's true nonetheless. If you are healthy, you can do more, including generate income. If you are unwell, not only do you loose that ability, you need to tap into your wealth and use your savings to cover for health care. That's why the #Fit2Live Campaign was launched to inspire Filipinos to care of both their wealth and health.
It's a digital campaign where you can take the Monetrism Quiz on Facebook, or join the #WellnessWednesday by sharing your fitness journey on Instagram. Participants may get the chance to win minor prizes of FitBit Wireless activity wristbands and a grand travel package of a travel package to Seoul, Sout Korea.

brighterlife.com.ph

During the Brighter Life Digital Conference held at the Sun Life Center, speakers discussed how we can improve Juan's Financial Independence and be able to declare Financial Independence. The most mentioned fact is to start young. Speaker Rose Fres-Fausto, Author of Raising Pinoy Boys shared that in raising your kids, work on their FQ too - a term she coined for financial intelligence quotient. There is no such thing as too your with teaching kids how to manage their finances. Even Ms. Riza shared how her kids started investing as young as high school using their allowances. They were able to carry the habit into adulthood and had understood to prioritize the needs vs. wants.

The issue here is that not everyone is equipped with teaching their kids how to properly handle their finances, much less make the right investment. If only we can formally integrate Financial Preparedness and Investment as part of our student's curriculum. As it is, for those wanting to go on an in-depth learning of personal finance, modular lessons will be offered online in Brighter Life Institute.

The online resource brighterlife.com.ph is a free site that makes financial education very accessible and within reach for more Filipinos. The initial offering is a five-module lesson for those starting their financial journey. Contributors also share their own financial journey and knowledge, on a way one can easily understand and relate to. My favorite is the article on 50-30-20 Financing.

Wealth & Health Expo

Aside from online initiatives, the public can also attend the #Fit2LiveFree Expo on June 20. Financial experts Randell Tiongson and Rose Faustino will guide participants in setting their wealtha nd health goals. They will also share tips and inspiring stories on achieving the balacen between health and wealth. This is a full day event where the morning session is slated more for the family.Other speakers are bull runner Jaymie Pizzaro, actor-triathlete Matteo Guidicelli, lifestyle blogger Anton Diaz, and TV host Edric Mendoza.

Here's the full list of the Financial Independence activities presented by Sun Life.
Sun Life Brighter Life Financial Independence Timetable
We have a lot of support and resources to live a brighter life and be #Fit2LiveFree. Let's educate ourselves and use that power to break free from our financial worries. Take back the command of your money and declare your own Financial Independence!




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