Last October 15 I got invited to attend the “Female Network Let’s Talk about Financial Freedom” event. It was an afternoon filled with wisdom in the area of personal finance. One particular question that left me hanging was raised byMs. Patty Aguirre of Integra Financials, one of our speakers during the forum. She asked this question to us, “How Do You Picture Your Retirement Age?”
Retirement is a topic I have never really gotten too deep here in SavingsPinay. I feel like I am not the right person to discuss it especially since I’m only 22. But when Ms. Patty raised that question it deeply resonated in me. I think there’s no better time to plan for your retirement than now.
Three Truths, One Life
There are three things we can never avoid in our Earthly life. It is the risk of getting sick, the risk of living too long and the risk of dying young. These three essential truths is the reason why you should think about your financial future more. Are you financially prepared if you or someone from your family got seriously ill? Who would take care of you when you get old?Does your family (or your future family) ready in case you will die today. The whole thing sounds crazy and morbid, I know, but it is part of human life.
Let’s go back toMs. Patty’s question, how do you picture your retirement age? For me retirement isn’t just about “not working” anymore. Retirement mirrors my declaration to be a financially independent Pinay. I want to live life financially free where I am able to live sufficiently without worrying about tomorrow. It is something I really want, I am willing to continuously work for and build my own system to succeed.
But the sad thing is only a handful of Filipinos think (and plan) about their retirement. Why?
1. Thinking “Nariyan naman ang mga anak/kamag-anak ko”
It is a very common mindset among Filipino parents to pass on the obligation to their respective children as a form of payment for their sacrifice. I believe that retirement is each and every one’s duty. Remember that your child is neither your retirement plan nor your investment. If ever they want to give back to you through monetary blessing it should be because of love and not out of desperation. Your child will have a family of his/her own and will have to plan too for his/her own retirement.
2. Thinking “May SSS/GSIS naman ako”
Do you know how little you’ll get as an SSS Pension holder? I was surprised when I learned that my dad will only get 4,000pesos a month as partial disability allowance when he had contributed almost half of his life in SSS. The truth is SSS contribution earns at very low interest rate which makes your benefits limited too. If you believe that your SSS/GSIS is enough to supply your retirement then you are bound for a big financial loop hole. You may live with 10,000 monthly today but 10 years from now that same amount won’t be enough anymore. You can’t entrust your retirement fund to government-issued policies like SSS, GSIS (for government workers), PhilHealth and PAG-Ibig. You won’t survive with the inflation rate and the cost of living. Thus, the monthly pension you will get from the retirement program may not be enough to support your needs and your family’s needs.
3. Thinking “Bata pa naman ako, tsaka na lang”
Postponing your retirement fund time and time again is a bad attitude. It is way better to save for your future now that you are young and able rather than spend your retirement age poor. If you are 40 today and want to retire at 60, you will only have 20 years to save and invest. This means setting aside 40-45% of your income to accumulate enough retirement fund. I don’t know about you but saving 45% of income at age 40 when you already have a family of your own isn’t that feasible at all.
The Correct Retirement Mindset
Retirement success varies from person to person. Some want to retire young, others want at the usual 60 while most have to postpone their retirement because of lack of fund. Retirement is a huge life changer both financially and emotionally. It doesn’t end when you hit the age you want or when you filled out all the necessary forms to retire. It’s not just about stopping your current work or career but living the rest of your life in purpose and stability.
The right retirement mindset is simply visualizing it. Picture how your retirement is going to be. Talk about it with your spouse or loved one or even yourself. Set your mind and heart to the idea of retirement. Once you have successfully visualized it you’ll be able to take down notes on actionable items to make it happen. A successful retirement entails a plan to spend not just your money but also your time.
Smart Moves for a Better Retirement Picture
Our financial habits today can affect how we will retire tomorrow. So if you have pictured almost an impossible retirement life then you need to work hard today to make it possible. Below are smart retirement moves you can do today to retire well in the future.
1. Determine the age you want to retire.
Again it’s all about the vision. Ask yourself when you plan to retire. This will enable you to calculate the lifestyle you’ll live during your golden years and how much money you need to save today.
2. Fund your retirement today.
From my post the Different Saving Fund You Should Own, I’ve mentioned Retirement as part of what you should include in your financial planning. You will never be young forever so you better start thinking about your retirement too. A lot may ask what age a retirement fund should be started and the definite answer would be ASAP. Saving for your retirement now will enable you to enjoy your harvest season sooner. The earlier you start the more chances that your money will grow. Start by saving money on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. Commit to a certain amount you can fund. Then add whenever you are financially equipped. If you want to retire happy you need to start saving accordingly.
3. Maximize your money by investing.
Work hard, save, invest and repeat — this my friends is the early retirement strategy. Once your paycheck comes, pay yourself first and foremost. Saving your income will get you started right away. Next you want to maximize your savings by investing. Investing is the sure way you make your money work for you and not the other way around.
To date, there are a number of investment vehicles you can choose from. From direct investing to stocks to indirect investments like mutual fund, Variable Universal Life (VUL) or Unit Linked Products (ULP). Saving alone will not get you to where you want to be 10-20 years from now. Don’t be afraid to invest for it’s the best way you can do to maximize your money’s growth potential.
Repeat the first two steps until you achieved your desired portfolio or you have more than enough money to outlast you.
4. Diversify your assets
Diversify your investments. Diversification is a financial technique that reduce the risk factor of investing by allocating your investments to different financial vehicles, industries, institutions or other varied categories. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
5. Consult expert advice
Ask questions and seek help if you must. Retirement is a big deal and consulting a financial advisor to examine your retirement goals can be very beneficial on your side. They can help you in the following areas:
Spending – Financial advisor will help you understand your current situation and work out on your current income and expenses. They will help you fix your budget and make it work for you.
To Borrow or Not? – Most of my readers will private message me when it comes to debt and honestly I feel like I’m not that equipped to answer your question. Experienced financial advisors are the way to go for a much preferred debt-payment method. They can help you make the toughest decisions that could set you free from debt.
Investing – Financial advisors will work out your investment profile. They will assess what type of investor you are and the type of investment that’s perfect for your need. Reading blogs and financial books are great tools of knowledge but there’s something about personal appearance and communication that makes you want to learn more.
Get Insured– Insurance are critical to build a strong financial foundation. A good advisor will highly recommend getting your assets insured and protected. It all boils down to the three truths mentioned earlier so you need proper protection to solidify your financial plan. Imagine this scenario: If you get hospitalized or get “taken out of picture”, your retirement fund will be used entirely. But what will happen next? How will your family survive or ensure that your children’s education will continue? Insurances policies like healthcare, life, accident and disability are investments too that you need to consider.
Planning – The role of a financial advisor is to help you generate wealth necessary for your successful retirement. They will offer help as you plan your goals in life. If you have questions from how to start and where to start, their passion can direct you.
Choose your financial advisor wisely! Ask questions and see if the answers and advice that they give really satisfies you. Choose someone who can understand how you picture your retirement will be and can suggest the possible next set of actions to get you to where you want to be.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
That question “How Do You Picture Your Retirement Age?” really brought a lot of thinking on my part. I’m glad that I was there to attend the event. Retirement is a huge thing and it is something we must plan way ahead of time. If you are determined to start the New Year right consult a financial advisor today who can help you with the step-by-step process. Who can offer you their time, knowledge, research tools, expertise and experience you and I may not have when it comes to retirement planning.
For expert financial advice you can contact Ms. Patty from Integra Financials firstname.lastname@example.org quickly give a call at521-6300 local 4462. In case you are shy to Ms. Patty no worries you can email me instead at email@example.com or the contact form below and I’ll forward your question to her. As much as I love personal finance I know Ms. Patty’s “the real expert” when it comes to investment and retirement planning.
How about you? How Do You Picture Your Retirement Age?
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Izza of SavingsPinay promotes financial literacy for the young and young at heart by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing and online entrepreneurship. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglino.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her firstname.lastname@example.org