Working abroad can come with great financial rewards. This is obviously why millions of Filipinos have set out into the world to find high-paying jobs in other countries. However, being away from your loved ones takes a lot of sacrifice, which is why you shouldn’t let that sacrifice go to waste. OFWs, or overseas Filipino workers, must be wiser in spending, saving, and investing their money.
Of course you want to reward yourself and your family with the comforts you couldn’t have had otherwise. It’s your hard-earned money after all and your family is the primary reason why you’re working hard, while away from home. However, you might also feel anxious that the money might run out or that you won’t have enough of it left to sustain you when you retire.
Think of the long term and control the urge to spend extravagantly. A recent survey by Bangko Sentral found that more OFWs are learning to save and invest their income from working abroad rather than spend money on non-essential goods. There’s also been a reported increase in the OFW families investing cash in financial instruments like mutual funds and other investment funds.
The time to start investing your money is now. Here are some financial investment options you should be looking at and working on as soon as you can:
- Save for a house
With the opportunity to earn many times as much money as compared to working in the Philippines, OFWs have greater capacity to buy a house. Real estate is a good investment because it’s value can only appreciate over time and can be passed on to your future children and grandchildren.
- Buy a car
A car is considered one of the major investment for every family. With the income you’re earning abroad likely to be many times as much as you’d earn if you’re working in the Philippines, buying a car would be a lot easier on your budget. Of course it would be wise to also apply for comprehensive car insurance to protect your investment.
- Save for education
Sending kids to school is a huge expense for every Filipino family, which is why you should invest in an educational plan as early as you can. You can also set aside money for education in a deposit account and be able to access it whenever needed. It doesn’t matter how young your kids are, or if you don’t even have kids yet. Tuition fees increase every year, and who knows how much a college education would cost by the time your children go to university?
- Get insured
Aside from getting your car insured, you also need to look at health insurance for the whole family, or life insurance for you and your spouse. A lot of Filipinos consider insurance an unnecessary expense or perhaps can barely keep up with utility bills to think of additional expenses. However, life is unpredictable and insurance helps protect you financially if any unexpected accident, illness, or emergency happens.
- Save for retirement
As an overseas worker, you can choose to continue sending contributions to SSS. However, some might argue that SSS benefits that await after you retire might not be enough especially if you plan to retire in comfort. It’s up to you to seek other ways to build a retirement fund. You can set aside a lump sum in a time deposit rather than a deposit account where it can earn bigger interest over time.
- Grow your wealth
If you’ve had the fortune of a good-paying job and not too many people to support, why not try to build your wealth by getting into investment or starting your own business? Do some research and consult an expert on how to invest in stocks, mutual funds, unit investment trust funds, or bonds. Find out what sort of business you can build in your hometown. You may even consider franchising a successful brand.
Of course, strict budgeting and good saving habits would lay the foundation of a successful investment plan. Decide on your priorities and work hard to sustain your investments. Not only do they give you peace of mind, you also feel a sense of accomplishment when you know that you’re managing your finances well.
Kyle Kam is an online marketing specialist for Moneymax.ph, the Philippines’ leading financial comparison website. Whenever he’s not working, he’s busy at home watching MMA videos the whole day. You may follow him on Twitter @undisputedkyle www.moneymax.ph