Newlyweds get financial advice in ‘Futurecasting’
Razel Estrella (The Philippine Star) - June 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Financial planning is a subject everyone claims to be important, yet not many have the resources to learn even the basics. As a result, sound financial decisions are hardly made, especially by the young. To address this problem, The Philippines STAR in partnership with Insular Life created “Futurecasting,” a first-of-its-kind 360-degree approach to financial education.

“Futurecasting,” which will run until September on alternate Mondays, has two parts: a column by Francis Kong and a webisode uploaded on Insular Life’s YouTube channel. Real people representing their different life stages (such as singlehood, marriage and retirement) are given financial advice by Insular Life experts.

The groundbreaking project kick-started last April 28 and among the guests were newlyweds Bhonny and Myravi Cunamay, who were featured in an episode called “The Couple that Saves Together.” As the title suggests, the webisode focused on dealing with finances once you enter into married life. Bhonny and Myravi, both 32-year-old professionals, talked to Insular Life resource persons Toots and Myrna Cortez, who are also a married couple. Toots and Myrna own their own company, a very successful general agency affiliated with Insular Life. They too experienced financial struggles during their early years of married life, and so they were able to provide sound and practical advice to the couple.

As with many young professionals, Bhonny shares that, though he already has some knowledge of personal finance, he believes there is still so much more to learn, and that the Internet is an ideal medium for learning — one of the reasons why they immediately said yes after being invited to participate in “Futurecasting.”

“True enough, there are new concepts I was able to learn from Toots and Myrna,” shares Bhonny, reflecting on the experience. “The three prerequisites before doing any investments stuck the most. These are building an emergency fund, getting out of debt, and protecting your human capital,” he continues. “Right now, we’re still working on creating our emergency fund and getting out of debt. We’ll try to save some more and cut down on our expenses, so that we can fulfill the three prerequisites and start venturing into investments.”

Bhonny and Myrna also realized that being a couple actually makes savings a lot easier and they stress the importance of saving 50 percent of the income of a starting couple. “It really makes sense because as time goes on, more expenses will come and the early years are really a great opportunity to save as much as possible,” explains Bhonny.

After getting advice from Insular Life experts, Bhonny and Myravi now advise starting couples like themselves to start early in building and working on their financial blueprint. “What’s the point of having so much fun during the early stages of married life if it’s going to be ruined in the end by lack of financial planning?” he concludes.

Catch the next installment of “Futurecasting” on June 23. Read the column by Francis Kong at The STAR’s “Business Life” section and watch the webisode at www.youtube.com/user/insularlifecomph.

BHONNY BHONNY AND MYRAVI BHONNY AND MYRAVI CUNAMAY BHONNY AND MYRNA BUSINESS LIFE FRANCIS KONG FUTURECASTING INSULAR LIFE LIFE TOOTS AND MYRNA
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