If you are the president of a top 1000 corporation, a super-rich businessman, or a well-known tycoon, you could probably retire in comfort and in style. You could spend your retirement days in luxury, travel around the world, and enjoy the fruits of your labor with your family and loved ones. Why is this so? My belief is that these top bosses or honchos have the best people around them running their company/ies ensuring that even if they retire, they could well afford to live in “style”. By “style”, I mean the works: grand and luxury vacation, debt-free, and having money at your disposal to spend on whatever needs or wants that come across your way. Think of well-established conglomerates in your country. In the Philippines, they’re the Sys, Gokongweis, Ayalas and the other rich families in the so-called Billionaires club.
Which makes me wonder…. But what about the majority? If you are an average worker or even a director of a top 1000 corporation or a successful businessman, it doesn’t follow that you would end up the same with the people mentioned above.
Bottomline, it’s not about how much you earn that counts but how much you are able to save and invest for your future.
It is a well-known fact that many foreigners retire here in the Philippines because they claim that the cost of living in the Philippines is cheap. But nothing is mentioned how they manage their expenses when it comes to health maintenance. Remember, in the Philippines, we have a health problem. The government’s only support to our senior citizens and retirees is Philhealth system whose funding is not enough to cover one’s medical expenses especially if one is get hit by a critical illness.
So, retiring in the Philippines is not a simple matter. Yes, you get to retire from your job but you don’t get to retire from life. It is at this point where you need money the most – the period when you stop receiving your fixed income and try to live off your pension. If the state pension is not enough, there are extended families like children, spouse or even siblings that you can depend on. That has been the case when you retire in the Philippines. But it cannot be always like that. We have to instill financial independence. With this mindset, we would be much better off this way because we are less of a burden to our families.
Retirement is about living the same way you have lived when you were still working. The difference is that you now have to look out from other sources of income to maintain your lifestyle as before. If you did not prepare early, then you have a problem. Not only will you take care of your daily needs; most often than not, other factors come into play like health issues, and later on estate planning issues.
In a recent East Asian survey, majority of the Filipinos are not prepared for retirement. They are faced with financial anxieties: how to stretch their budget; where will they get money to pay off their medical bills, etc.
Retirement is not something that you don’t expect. Therefore, you should plan for it. Need I say, the earlier, the better?