I had a good chat with my fellow accountants at work and our topic was really of value.
It is often an issue that one must have a goal in life and that one is not meant to stay where they are now. In the Philippine setting is common to have employment to survive life. Pinoys get employed and enjoy life and often end up struggling financially in their golden years. Financial advocates have been telling everyone to start saving and investing at an earlier age for the retirement years later on.
This idea is good. Such action will actually benefit the next generation in a way that medical bills and care expenses of the previous generation will not be paid by the next generation but rather will be taken care of by the savings and investment of that same generation. This enables the next generation to focus on their future rather than scratching their heads with their parents’ old age care expenses with their own financial responsibilities.
Below are my personal opinions as to what should we be thinking about as we go through our life stages. In my opinion our life stages are group into four:
- Early Childhood
- Teen Years
- Late Adulthood
This stage is critical in a sense that it is in this stage that defines one’s financial outlook.
We always hear and have even read the comparison of Chinoys and Pinoys having a huge gap in terms of finances. As per Vic and Avelynn Garcia in their book “Kontento ka na ba sa kaPERAhan mo?“, Chinoy kids are more of the entrepreneurial type due to their early exposure to the family business. Since the family needs to manage a business they learn how to make wise decision as to when to buy personal wants and that is the Kurot Principle.
Early childhood is the soft spot for developing habits. In the past the government has this info ad about how the young learns from the old thus the need to have a good example. Parents are the very first example to children. Thus the spending habits of parents surely goes to what children will have since that is what they see on a day to day basis. Not spending on a want today does not mean one is being a miser but rather delaying gratification in order to make well use of limited money and at the same time able to make the same purchase when price of such want goes down and probably it might not be really of a want after all.
What we learn from our early childhood stays with us to our old age thus it is very important stage in our life to develop and learn good financial habits at an early age. The current next generation needs much of relearning good financial habits, so if you are a parent or an older sibling make sure that the younger ones understand value of money and teach then good money habits while their minds are not locked to that bad spending culture that our generation had.
This stage of life is where we start creating our dreams and defining what we wanted out of life. Teen years are usually characterized by the ambitions that our parents wants us to have and our own self-image once we surpass it. It is also the so called puberty age where as a human being we tend to get attracted to the opposite sex. These factors affect how one handles money.
At this stage what the most important thing is to establish how we see ourselves in the near future. Often times many see as “tambay” because they will never be going to college or higher education because the family can’t afford to send them. But that is the wrong outlook we Pinoys have. Often times parents coy their children to get a college degree that has a high paying rate so that once they graduate they get employed with that technical skills and get a secure employment. Financially speaking we all have the capacity of generating income even without a college/university education. The technical know-hows of things can be actually learned by mere showing how it is done. What we need at this stage is that plan for our own future and not of your parents.
It is common fact that in order for a person to go for something he or she must have his or her heart on it. Most of the time the courses we take in college are the one pick by our parents which is fine since they are just thinking the best for us. But at this stage we as young adults must define how we see ourselves and plan how to achieve it by ourselves. IN the end once we grow into the next stage we make the decisions and not our parents.
We as teens must start planning out how we are going to tackle the rest of our lives. Should we be partying and enjoy time spending our parents money or rather start learning how money works and how we can save up today so that we have something to use in the future to not only earn from employment but with potential business from one’s passion. Life should be an enjoyable one thus one has to find what he really wants deep inside. If you make a living out of your passion I believe you might be the happiest person alive.
This stage is defined with one single word, responsibility.
This stage of life is all about what we dreamt of becoming in the past and how we didn’t end up the way we wanted to. People at this stage are always disappointed because we never achieve the dreams that we painted back then. It is our responsibility to fulfill those dreams at this stage.
Also this stage is that of the employment stage which the by-product of our college years was. But employment should only be a stepping stone. Work a few years of your adult life in order to get two things: Funds and experience.
It is a fact that in order to be alive, one needs money to buy food for the table but often times we forget to think of employment as our time to accumulate money in order to start a business. If in your early and teen years you got to save up for the future, in your adulthood you have to save up for your dream business that will be your continuous source of income to support your golden years.
At times we get to comfortable at our employment that it becomes our life. But again it shouldn’t be. It should only be your stepping stone that will lead you to a business or some sort of income generating activity where you will be able to enjoy your money at your own time.
Your employment years will be your new school. It should be the time where you learn more about life and about how you interact with others. Such time will add to your knowledge in regards to money management. At this stage you will encounter co-workers bullying you that you are a miser or “kuripot”, or often times you will be the ninong or ninang and will be made responsible for your “inaanaks” future and the likes.
At this stage you get to know why many fail with their finances due to the various responsibilities each adult faces. As if all financial obligations are automatically given to you once one you become an employed adult. At this stage you get to learn about life and you get tested how you will handle life right now and how do you look at for your retirement.
This could be your last stage in life before having the golden or dark ages of your life.
This is the time where you reflect where you are at already. Often times most Pinoys worry in this stage because they never have set aside enough for retirement.
Most employed Pinoys ponder how much they will get form their pensions and separation pays because most have no savings to fund their retirement. Also for those who have business they worry if their business will be able to provide for their needs. It is the time where a business owner assesses the continuity of his or her business from there on until they hang their control over it.
If good habits where already made in the childhood years, dreams where well planned in teen years, and plans were started to be implemented in the adulthood years I guess you are in the right track in your late adulthood and on your way to a very smooth old age.
It takes planning and well execution to achieve a goal in life. Along doing it we will always have problems and setbacks. We should have learned how to deal with these since we were always learning as we go along life. We need to make choices and those choices turn to intelligent financial choices if we have a solid background which we might have learned somewhere in between our childhood to adulthood.
Always have time to reflect and review where you are now in your life. It is never too late to make sound choices so that you will have a good old age or retirement.