(This story is dedicated to Ei&E, their daughter J and babyEE) .

I have a very good friend Ei who is going through a big loss right now. Ei is 6-months pregnant and is a mother of an 11-year old daughter J.

A few days ago, Ei’s husband E passed away at a young age of 42. It’s such a big loss and I could not even start to describe the grief that their family is going through. Things like these are very difficult to understand and accept.

These are times when I personally take refuge in our Dear Lord and a verse from Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

I’ve been reflecting on how Ei and E’s family will cope with the loss. My prayers are with Ei and her family.

Practical reflection

Since then, I’ve been finding the lessons behind these turn of events. I’ve been talking to my loved ones, telling them how much I love them, and sharing a few practical finance lessons.

With all due respect, I would like to share two finance principles that I’ve been reflecting upon after these recent events.

Two finance problems:

  1. Passing away too soon
    Challenge: Taking care of the family that’s left behind
  2. Living too long
    Challenge: Taking care of yourself in old age

1. Passing away too soon

The challenge here is taking care of the family that’s left behind.

For most married adult with kids, their most valuable wealth generating asset is: themselves. They use their talents, knowledge, skills to generate money to support their family’s needs.

When one spouse passes away, the other spouse is left alone with a family to support. With half of the income, it will take a huge adjustment to support the family. If the spouse who passed away is the single breadwinner, the whole income of the family is instantly wiped out.

The financial rule of thumb is to protect your family by getting life insurance. In the event that one spouse passes away early, life insurance will gives the family of the departed a fund that can be used for sustenance for at least a few years.

How much life insurance? Another rule of thumb is to have life insurance 10x the annual expenses of the family. For example, if a family spends P300,000 a year for food, clothing, shelter etc., the bread-winning spouse(s) should be covered with life insurance with value P3,000,000 (3 million).

If one spouse passes away, the surviving spouse can take this P3,000,000 and invest the entire sum in a finance facility that earns 10% interest. This will give the family P300,000 (10% of P3million) enough to cover the annual expenses of the family.

2. Living too long

The challenge here is how to support oneself in old age. With medical expenses increasing in old age, parents wouldn’t want to be a financial burden to their adult children.

For this kind of finance problem, the solution is health insurance. Health insurance will help cover medical expenses that will predictably set in during old age.

Employed adults would have health insurance coverage (e.g. PhilHealth) as part of their employment benefits.

For some employees (and for most self-employed), the health insurance coverage is not enough to protect the family from a health disaster such as cancer or stroke or kidney failure — these ailments could easily drain the health insurance and the family may need to spend from their own pocket and even go into debt.

But health insurance coverage may end when employment ends.

Herein lies the importance of a solid health insurance plan beyond employment. Whether you’re employed or self-employed, it is very important to have a good health insurance that will cover the risks of a serious health problem both in their young adulthood and in old-age.

Key Messages

  • 1st Finance Problem: Passing away too soon
    Challenge: Taking care of the family that’s left behind
    Protection: Life insurance
  • 2nd Finance Problem: Living too long
    Challenge: Taking care of yourself in old age
    Protection: Health insurance

Prayers

To readers of eOFW.Net, please say a prayer for Ei&E and their family. Say a prayer too for the many Filipino families who are undergoing similar situations.

Lastly, let’s protect ourselves and our families by educating ourselves and investing in insurance.

Beyond all these practical tips, shower the people you love with love. Today!

With prayers,

Edwin

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