MOST people are made to believe that saving money for the future is enough to live with financial freedom.
It is not.
In a nationwide study conducted by Kantar Milward Brown to 1,200 respondents, Filipinos are considered eager to save and prepare for the future, but are still tied to traditional ways of handling their finances.
The study was commissioned by Sun Life Financial Philippines (Sun Life).
According to the study, 68 percent of Filipinos were concerned about saving for emergencies, 62% on securing their family's future, and 57% on retirement. In order to address these priorities, 62% said they are managing their finances while 54% are spending only on things that are planned. Only 39% replied that they were investing their money in order to fund their goals.
Many reasoned out that their current financial situation is the major factor for not availing of life insurance or mutual fund products, where an average of 44% said that these products are considered as added expenses rather than tools to be financially secure.
Moreover, it appears that lack of knowledge was also a factor, where 16% admitted they knew little about life insurance, 15% confessed to not knowing much about accident insurance, and 17% felt the same way about health insurance.
With all these established, Sun Life started a campaign last June anchored on three pillars: "Life, Health, and Wealth."
Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa said life, health, and wealth are essentials of a brighter future, but one can only achieve them if they save and invest for the future.
"This is possible with the right partner, tools, and products," she said.
Among the initiatives under "Life" is the Life Insurance Calculator, which would help one assess how much life insurance he would need to properly cover the needs of his loved ones, giving him a clearer goal to pursue. The digital tool can be accessed via bit.ly/SLInsuranceCalc.
Meanwhile, SUN Smarter Life Classic is a protection plan that provides double life insurance coverage throughout one's lifetime. Available in flexible premium payments, it also offers benefits that he can use in case of emergencies or immediate need for cash.
Sun Life is also set to team up with Waze to promote road safety in an initiative dubbed "Brighter Drive, Brighter Life," which will alert Waze users on accident-prone areas. This may also serve as a reminder for Waze users, who are also registered Lazada members, to insure themselves with a digital life insurance from Sun Life, such as Life Armor. It may be availed via the said online marketplace for as low as P100.
Under "Health," Sun Life endorses SUN Fit and Well, a new generation wellness plan that offers comprehensive life and health protection. It covers the whole health journey from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, offering comfort and peace of mind should a serious illness strike.
GoWell, Sun Life's wellness community, has also expanded its tie-up with Fitness First to offer additional club benefits and preferential rates for Sun Life clients, advisors and employees.
Those eager to pursue their wealth goals can give the Investment Calculator a try at bit.ly/SLInvestmentCalc to see how their money can grow over time using various financial instruments.
Once they are ready to start investing, they can opt to invest in the Sun Life Prosperity Achiever Funds from Sun Life Asset Management Inc. (SLAMCI). The first target date investment funds in the Philippines, these funds are designed to help investors achieve their goals on time with the minimum investment at only P1,000.
Should they wish to encourage their loved ones to start their own investing journey as well, they can give them a Sun Life Prosperity Card, a gift card which can be invested in any of Sun Life's peso-denominated funds. It is available in P1,000 and P5,000 denominations.
In order to keep them on track as they pursue their life, health, and wealth goals, Sun Life also created Sun Future Planner, a comprehensive financial planning guide that would help one determine his life stage, analyze his needs, and take concrete steps to achieve his goals. The Sun Future Planner may be availed via a Sun Life advisor.
"We hope that Filipinos would utilize these solutions to create a more holistic and hardworking financial plan and serve more of his and his family's needs," Lopa said.
3 things to consider when investing
The Present founder Jan Ocampo shared in one of his viral videos online three things people should consider when planning of investing to whatever financial platform.
The Present is a social media account that teaches and inspires netizens about business savviness and financial literacy.
Ocampo said, investors should first look for regulations.
"Are they regulated by our government or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas? There is a reason why it should be regulated. It should be legal, if you're considering investing in whatever schemes, ask about their paper to prove that it's legal," he said.
Secondly, investors should understand the nature and business model of the company or platform they are investing with.
"Understand how they're running the business as an investor you have the right to understand how the business earns money. You need to understand the process. The philosophy should be - Never invest on anything without understanding how it works," Ocampo emphasized.
Lastly, The Present founder talked about investing only the money that one can afford to lose.
"Investment is not a guaranteed growth. When you invest in stocks, forex, mutual funds, bonds, etc. There will always be up and down times. Since that's the reality, so you should only invest the money that you think you can afford to lose," he said.
In order to live with financial freedom, never settle with just saving. Legal and sound investing is always the key.