Tag Archives: investments

Sun Life study: Filipinos need to exercise more! SUN Fit & Well might be the solution for the Overworked generation

Filipinos consider themselves healthy; but needs to exercise regularly — that is a nutshell is the result of the recently concluded Sun Life Financial Asia Health Index commissioned by leading insurance company, Sun Life.

Always praised for its optimistic attitude, Filipinos ranked the highest when it comes to the total level of happiness, compared with its other Asian neighbors, notching exceptional numbers on how they regard their relationship with both family and colleagues.

However, Filipinos have a long way to go when it comes to their health. In the study, 61% of Filipinos admitted that they do not engage in any type of physical activities, citing lack of personal motivation, distraction of modern life, cost and lack of accessible venues to engage in sports and other activities.

The findings of the study is significantly worrying, considering that a large part of the population belong to “Generation O,” a segment of the population which is overworked, overweight and overwhelmed, which was first identified by Sun Life during their 2014 study. This is the same segment of the population that continues to struggle with their health goals.

The silver lining of the study showed that Filipinos are still very positive about the state of their health. In fact, the Philippines scored the highest compared to other Asian countries when it comes to the overall Health Index, scoring high on emotional health and coming second to Indonesia when it comes to physical health.

Personally, the findings of the recent study resonated well with me — an “overweight, overworked and overwhelmed”thirty-something desperate to find means to get healthy. Like many of young, urban professionals, my work currently consumes a better part of my waking hours and getting healthy means finding ways to find activities that answers my needs and lifestyle.

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That is why Sun Life Financial’s SUN Fit and Well, a new generation wellness product that offers comprehensive life and health protection from childhood to the golden years, seemed like an interesting and viable investment for me.

After undergoing an early mid-life crisis last year, one of the things I did to improve myself and my life is to start picking on viable investments that will prove to be helpful in my old age. I started financial investments with two other life insurance agencies and then started investing in real estate.

During the SUN Fit and Well launch, I realized that if I am capable of investing on my financial freedom, I am also more than capable to invest on my health and well-being. As someone who holds an extensive and sizable HMO coverage, I am comforted by the fact that SUN Fit and Well serves as a perfect complement to my health care benefits and thoroughly covers a large chunk of my health journey:

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The coverage that comes with the investment are both notable and convenient, covering from hospitalization to preventive health care:

  • Preemptive Wellness Benefit1
    Proactively maintain your health! Enjoy special access and privileges to various wellness activities that will help you stay fit and healthy.
  • Comprehensive Critical Illness Benefit
    Enjoy peace of mind knowing that SUN Fit and Well covers you at a young age up until your senior years, providing financial benefits upon diagnosis of any of the 100+ critical conditions across minor and major stages.
  • Specific Cancer Booster Benefit
    Further ease your financial worries with additional cash benefit equivalent to 50% of the Face Amount upon first diagnosis of any covered advanced-stage cancer.

LIFE INSURANCE PROTECTION2
Secure your loved ones’ future with guaranteed life insurance protection equivalent to the policy’s Face Amount until Age 100.

SPECIAL BONUS AND DIVIDEND EARNINGS3
Be rewarded with a Special Paid-Up Bonus at the end of the premium paying period, and annual dividend earnings thereafter which may be withdrawn anytime or left with Sun Life to accumulate.

LIMITED PAYMENT PERIOD
SUN Fit and Well can be fully paid in 10, 15 or 20 annual installments, and payments are fixed throughout the paying period. Semi-annual, quarterly, and monthly4 modes are also available to make payments more affordable.

  (SOURCE: Sun Life Financial Philippines website)

As part of its preventive health initiatives, SUN Fit and Well also offers access to GoWell, Sun Life’s very own wellness program where members can enjoy easy access to health and wellness information, fitness and wellness activities,  nutrition and health experts.

Hopefully, I will be able to afford SUN Fit and Well this year, after I have crunched some numbers and check the cash flow. This is one investment I do not mind making, for my future and my health.

 

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Why is it hard to be financially responsible?

Infographic from the Money Summit & Wealth Expo 2012
Infographic from the Money Summit & Wealth Expo 2012

How do Filipinos rank in financial literacy?
News from Rappler, 16 July 2013

The Philippines recorded 68 index points and ranked 8th among 16 Asia-Pacific countries covered by the latest MasterCard Index of Financial Literacy.

The Philippines’ score in MasterCard’s 4th annual survey is almost the same as the Philippines’ index score of 68.2 in 2011.

“This Index of Financial Literacy is a good measure of whether and how people in the Asia/Pacific region are making informed decisions around their home finances,” said Georgette Tan, MasterCard’s group head of Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

The recent survey, released on July 3, was conducted with 7,756 respondents aged 18 to 64 from Asia/Pacific markets between April and May 2013.

Three major components are considered in the calculation of the final index score: basic money management (50% weight), financial planning (30% weight) and investment (20% weight). Regional Aggregates had been calculated via the average of the components of individual countries before these weights were applied.

Philippine respondents rounded up 67 index points for basic money management, 74 index points for financial planning and 58 index points for investing.

The ability to manage money involves skills such as day-to-day budgeting, paying up bills, handling credit commitments and saving up for big purchases. Investment proficiency includes understanding bank statements and complex investment concepts.

New Zealand remained at the top of the list, with 74 index points, and also in matters related to fundamental money management skills. China has come out as the most proficient in investment, Myanmar in financial planning.

Japan fell at the bottom of the chart with its overall financial literacy at 57 index points.

“There are divides across our markets that reflect the gap between the developed and the developing. Financial literacy is a concern where a large proportion of society are without the support and education that is taken for granted in the developed world,” Tan added.

A developing country, the Philippines was the sole market from the list to have low levels of financial literacy from the demographic of 30-year-olds who are married at the same time. Becoming financially savvy is more pronounced with marriage and increasing family obligations, such as household expenses, education and financial commitments.

Link to original site here

saving is a bitch
saving is a bitch

How about you? Do you find it easy to arrange your finances and set it in order?

For almost five months now, putting my finances in order has been my sole obsession. I don’t know what prompted my quest to scrimp, save and invest aside from the fear of dying and leaving nothing to my family in spite the crazy hours I spent working.

As embarrassing as this may sound, my financial IQ is nil and almost non-existent. I lack the discipline to save my money and look the other way when it comes to my wants and not needs. I am currently trying a lot of ways to save, invest and keep. I’ve read somewhere that 10% of our salary should go to our savings, 20% to our investments (different from the rotating money in the bank) and 70% should go to our day-to-day expense.

I wish I could tell you that everything is going according to plan and that all my savings are growing according to the same gaant chart that I prepared with gusto. However, the reality is that, like any other Filipino, my monthly expense sometimes outweight my monthly earnings. Instead of allotting money first for my investments (mutual and emergency fund) and savings (revolving fund) accounts, what happens is that I am forced to pay for my bills before I set money for my savings. According to the many investment and financial websites I have studied, what is correct is to pay yourself first before you pay others.

Here are some financial literacy tips from Investopedia

1. Responsible use of credit cards
If you have a credit card and you’re barely paying the minimum payment due per month, then there is something seriously wrong with your financial spending. Credit cards are convenient tools and provides you financial flexibility but they shouldn’t be taken in as substitute to cash. Stop using your credit cards to pay for your wants (yes, very easy to say when there’s no H&M, Forever 21 or GAP near your office). Credit cards should be used for emergency expenses only (thing is: a plane ticket qualifies as an emergency to me).

2. Pay yourself first
As mentioned earlier, make it a habit to pay yourself first before you start paying your bills and other obligations. Since this is the part of my financial journey where I struggle the most, I am planning to do something to improve how I do this. One plan is to NOT use my money, and not withdraw anything unless I have paid myself using the medium I discovered — 10% savings (revolving funds) and 20% (investment/emergency funds).

3. Have an emergency fund in hand
Shit happens — people get sick, appliances get broken, unemployment happens and insane discounted tickets to Japan gets announced (kidding on this one); it’s best to always have money in store to use for instances such as these. Since I was young, I was told that one must have at least three times the worth of her salary in her bank account. But apparently, amount should be equivalent to six times your salary in order to cover living expenses and even cases like hospitalization.

4. Stop keeping up with the neighbors
Just because your neighbor happened to buy a new car doesn’t mean you have to line up to the dealership also. Be contented with what you have. Your neighbors do not pay your bills, so their opinion doesn’t and shouldn’t count on how you live a financially-independent life.

5. Have a budget
…and stick with it.