PH Government Benefits

What Retirement Looks Like for the Regular Filipino Professional

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Retirement for Pinoy professionals

In the Philippines, we have separate retirement schemes for those who are employed in the private sector and those in government. Private sector employees are covered by the Social Security System (SSS), while its counterpart is the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Both are mandatory, which means that employees and employers alike cannot opt out of paying premiums, even if they think they can get better returns by investing somewhere else. As long as you’re employed, the government requires that your HR department deduct the right amount from your salary every month and remit it to SSS or GSIS. Both SSS and GSIS are to make sure that Filipino workers retire with pension.   To have a strong basis for our retirement planning and investing strategies, it is imperative that we understand how these schemes will look like for the regular Pinoy professional. For those of us in the small […]

Psychology of Money

How to Break Your Financial Vicious Cycle Part 2

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Get out of poverty 101

In my previous post, I talked about some causes of poverty. Now I’ll be sharing strategies and ideas to overcome and get out of poverty slowly, steps that you can personally take to break your financial cycle.  I did not discover these ideas all at once. These are the result of years of personal experience, thinking about stuff, deep conversations with people, and reading books and articles in different subjects including personal finance, logic, feminism, public policy, even fiction. I did not just wake up one day, and then bam! ideas! It took time. I’m sure there are a lot of other tips I haven’t heard of yet.   Before I start my TED talk, I want to emphasize the need to be kind both to yourself and to your family. In the long journey to get out of poverty, there will times when you will alternately hate yourself (for […]

Psychology of Money

How to Break Your Financial Vicious Cycle Part 1

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Financial Vicious Cycle Part 1

One of the many many reasons I blog is to share my experiences and strategies on how to break out of poverty just in case somebody out there in the nameless void can benefit from what I say. If there’s one thing that I pride myself on and consider myself an expert, it’s finding and implementing ways to break out of the financial vicious cycle. I was in poverty for the first couple of decades of my life. Getting out of poverty has taken me a good portion of the next decade. So I can claim that I have plenty of experience.   Contrary to what many financial bloggers and vendors of personal finance and self-help books say, poverty is not just caused by some unhealthy mindset that you can defeat by thinking positive thoughts to attract wealth from the universe. Many times, the causes are much deeper than just […]

Back to Basics

Make your money work harder by getting free insurance with BPI Save Up

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et Free Insurance BPI Save Up

I’m always looking for ways to make my money work harder. When I first learned about BPI Save Up more or less 10 years ago while I was still working at a BPO, I immediately opened one. I got to have automatic savings and free insurance? What’s not to like? Why not let my money do two things, instead of doing only one thing? Unfortunately, when I changed jobs my payroll bank account also changed. I didn’t bother keeping the BPI Save Up account active. After years of dormancy it became a regular savings account. I recently decided to open a new BPI Save Up account during a visit to the Philippines. My idea was to park my peso emergency funds in a Save Up account, and while the money is sitting there waiting to be used for an emergency, it can also give me free insurance coverage. As a […]

Net Worth Report

My Net Worth at the Beginning of 2019 and Goals for 2019

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My Net Worth as of January 2019 and Goals

I’m a bit nervous about revealing my net worth online because I’m usually a very private person and would rather keep these things to myself.  But if I’m going to commit to my financial literacy advocacy, I think it’s a great idea to write regular net worth updates in this blog. Plus Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) told me that I should give myself permission to be more open and start sharing some personal things.   At first I was actually scared to write down my net worth because I felt I didn’t do enough to improve my finances in 2018. Yes, I adapted Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps into my personal life. But I faced a lot of financial challenges last year, including the months-long hospital stay of a close family member, which I paid for. Also, my parents’ savings were wiped out and their income significantly dropped. […]

PH Government Benefits

What is PERA and why you need one right now

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What is PERA and why you need one right now

Personally, I don’t want to grow old poor. I’m sure you don’t want to be poor when you grow old either. And I bet that nobody in the world ever wants to be old and poor. So in order to help Pinoys prepare to be not poor when they’re old, I will discuss PERA in depth, and why you need one right now. This is, if they’re lucky. Most of the time, people are not able to save up anything for retirement. They have to rely on small pensions from SSS or GSIS which are frankly never enough. Worse, they are reduced to relying on their children’s sense of obligation and guilt to maintain them until death. Basically, their kids become the retirement plan. Sounds familiar, huh? Many of us are in this predicament. It’s bearable if you’re a big earner. But if you just left college and still building […]

Products Services and Reviews

Pacific Cross Travel Insurance Review

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Pacific Cross Travel Insurance Review

In my previous post, I explained why we should buy travel insurance and the criteria to keep in mind when buying one. I mentioned the many ways that a perfect vacation can suddenly turn into disaster due to medical emergency and the accompanying costs. So after doing hours upon hours of research reading about offering and trying to contact insurance providers and banks, I finally settled on one. Here is my Pacific Cross travel insurance review, where I lay out why chose this product and how easy it is to buy from them. DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a sponsored post nor am I in any way compensated to write about this product. I just like writing about products that make people’s lives easier, especially for those of us who are based abroad. Also, I really hate companies that treat their clients like shit, as if buying products from them is […]

Personal Finance

How to Choose the Best Travel Insurance for Filipinos

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How to choose the best travel insurance for Filipinos

One of the things we often neglect when we go on trips abroad is buying travel insurance. We’re justifiably obsessed with getting the best deals on plane tickets and hotels, arranging itineraries, and researching “must have” experiences we shouldn’t miss. But when it comes to protecting ourselves from possible expenses such as accidents, missed flights, and other things that might negatively impact our travel, we turn a blind eye. We don’t want to “jinx” the trip by being “too negative”. In this post, I will share my insights for shopping for the best travel insurance for Filipinos.   Why travel insurance for Filipinos? We hope that our trips will be problem- and accident-free that many of us fail to properly prepare for sudden health issues. But the fact is, accidents happen at the most inconvenient time and when you least expect it.   One moment you and your parents/friends/special someone […]

Investing

The Ultimate Guide to Philippine Index Funds

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Ultimate Guide to Philippine Index Funds

Many of us are already aware of the advantages of investing in index funds but are having a hard time choosing which fund to invest in. We are enticed by a dizzying array of index fund options, ranging from mutual funds, UITFs, and even an ETF, with their respective pros and cons. Although there are a lot of information available online, it is hard to sift through the hype. So I decided to conduct my own extensive and thorough research (I hope) and create the ultimate guide to Philippine index funds that is easily accessible and easy to understand.   I read and skimmed hundreds of pages of prospectuses (prospectii?), declarations of trusts, circulars from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other related documents that I can access online in the course of two weekend nights.   You may think that’s impossible […]

Savings

Savings Tips That Will Change Your Life Part 1

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Savings Tips That Will Change Your Life Part 1

In terms of looking for ways to save money, we’ve seen it all. Almost everyone has their go-to way to save, ranging from the mundane (clip and use coupons!) to petty criminality (take home toilet paper from work). In this post, I will share some savings tips that can potentially change your life. Potentially because it’s still up to you if you’ll apply them in your life.   All of these have and continues to work for me. I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas in your journey to a better financial future.     Saving money is only hard at the beginning but becomes easier as we go along. The most important thing is for us to try hard and persevere.   I wish it’s clear to everyone why we need to save money whatever income level we currently are in. Unfortunately, I have met people in […]