Financial planning for your Filipino family
PREPARING FINANCIALLY FOR MY NEW FAMILY IN THE PHILIPPINES
FOR NOW AND AFTER I AM DEAD AND BURIED
Recently, Terence wrote an article for us opening up the discussion about starting a family (at what some people consider), an advanced age and it was an article I thoroughly enjoyed. The articles focussed more on the morality of the phenomena, but when we posted the link onto social media sites, I received a surprise. Though response was quick in basically expressing the opinion that if other people had an issue with it, that was their problem and not that of us who chose to start the new family at 50+. But, the discussions quickly turned to the financial aspects .
Before I address my own personal financial concerns , let me just tell you first;
These expressions entirely mirror my own feelings. I am a 53 year old in love with 30 year old beauty whom I adore, respect and TRUST. She is also smart, kind, loving and to be blunt, everything I always wanted in a partner. Though we sometimes have some rough times, which are as much my fault as hers, I have total faith that we will be together and have a vibrant relationship until the day one of us die. And yes, it will likely be me who kicks the bucket first. Thems just the odds that I have to accept. Now, like most guys I know from back in Canada, I got married for the first time in my 20’s, had a daughter, got divorced and was at the best of times just a part time Dad who never got to be there through all the important parts of my child’s upbringing. Though I love my daughter, I really don’t know her as well as I believe I should and certainly was not able to impact her development into the young woman she is today to any great degree.
Until recently I believed that that the experience of being a full time parent, through good times and trying times would be one that I would pass me by and that I would die one day without passing the “Mckissock” torch on to someone whom I helped mold into a young adult. Well now that has changed! I do plan on having kids and like most of you who commented feel there is nothing wrong with that!
So on to the financial planning part and this is where I become a little worried
I am Canadian, and do not , and probably never will receive a pension or other Government benefits. I saw a lot of comments posted about those of you who do receive different benefits, and though I am happy for you and respect the fact that most of you worked darn hard all your life to get deserve what you receive now, I have to bring up the point that maybe you are going out on a limb to expect and depend on that cash forever. Especially now that you have a family again and you are not the only one who will need a roof over their head, food in their stomachs and some decent prospects for their futures. I personally have seen over the years, and recently with increasing frequency, changes in Government policies all over the world , that are basically cutting back social benefits in response to the financial realities of today’s aging population demographics, global economic woes and mismanagement of the public purse strings. I have heard anecdotal evidence from Expats here in the Philippines of how it has affected them and it ain’t pretty but would be even uglier if any of the stories I heard involved men that now had a family of 4 or 5 to support.
Neither am I rich with a pile of money sitting in some bank or investment portfolio, so like it or not, I am going to have to continue working hard every day to finance the requirements of the new family I intend to have. But that is not really my worry. I am an entrepreneur and businessman. Always have been and though I have never been filthy rich, I have always had no problem making money and living an enjoyable lifestyle. while I am alive, and physically and mentally capable of work, I have no doubt that I will provide all that my family needs, but my nagging concern is what happens when I die.
This is where I hope and pray that my wife doesn’t take a sudden interest in my articles and read this because I know it will hurt her on several different levels. I know as well that there are some of you out there that might also take offence but I do believe there are a whole lot more for whom my comments will strike a chord.
It has been my experience so far in the Philippines , that most Filipinos have problems with money and it is not a problem that will ever be solved by having more of it. My wife is typical in that way and as much as I love and respect her, the ability to plan financially and budget is virtually non existent. I do know it has nothing to do with intelligence or education but rather believe it is a cultural thing that will probably never change. I think there are several dynamics at work, the major one being that my wife is basically insecure, like many Filipinas(for reasons I cannot fathom), and so when she does have money, it is used in such a way as to show other people that she is successful and doing well. I have come to believe that even this extraordinary Filipino tradition of “giving” to the family is not as simple as it seems. For my wife, though I am sure she cares immensely for the well being of her family, A lot of the family donations are given with the deeper intent of proving to them that she is successful.
As for my kids being the financial masters of the household, maybe someday, but probably not in my lifetime. Even if I were to have a kid today, they would only be in their early 20’s before I was in my mid 70’s. No way will they have the experience or maturity.
I could go on , but my point is very simple. Though I do have confidence in my ability to support my future family while I am around and capable of work, I do not have that same feeling for when that is not the case. I do not say this in a way that is derogatory or to insult, judge or demean my wife or the Filipino culture, just as a statement of what will be going through my mind when planning for the financial stability of my family’s future. Quite honestly, I will probably plan in such a way as to take the major financial decisions out of my wife’s hands.
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