MANILA, Philippines — When we were young, the idea of becoming adults seemed all too exciting. It meant we could finally make our own decisions, get our dream job and earn money so we could be free to do whatever we wanted. It meant being able to live in our own place, raise our own families, climb up the corporate ladder, run our own business, run the whole show.
When we were young, it was easy to dream of living the perfect adult life.
Now that we’re grown-ups, we realize that adulting isn’t as simple as we thought. It is hard work—a balancing act comprised of our goals, vacation plans, monthly bills, parents’ maintenance, changing diapers, sleepless nights, back-to-back meetings and office deadlines.
The adulting struggle is so real that we forget to plan for life’s possible what-ifs, those unforeseen circumstances that could easily throw our lives off course, including everyone in it—sickness, accidents, and as the pandemic showed us, even untimely death.
So we asked adulting millennials: Are you ready and protected from life’s what ifs?
Renselyn Estipular, breadwinner ate
Renselyn, at just 25, has already saved up for her own house where she plans to live with her grandmother and younger brother. When her parents separated, she assumed the role of the breadwinner as a teenager, and did part-time jobs throughout college. Today, she works as an account manager for one of the country’s leading newspapers, The Philippine STAR.
What is your priority in life right now?
“It is very important for me that my brother finishes his schooling because I know how unfair and absurdly hard life can be to those who don’t. Even I, who finished college, still had a hard time looking for a job that can provide for all my needs. Only 10% of my monthly salary goes to my pocket and the rest is budgeted to pay the bills, his education needs, savings and life insurance.”
What uncertainties do you fear in life?
“What I fear most is dying unexpectedly because nobody will support my brother and grandmother. They fully depend on me. That’s why it’s important that I have savings and a back-up plan. . . I can be at peace knowing that he won’t experience the same financial hardships I experienced when I was still studying, and my grandmother will still have money for her medicine and other needs.”
What is your Plan B?
“I recently got my first life insurance policy for my peace of mind, saved up enough to put a down payment for a house, which will also be covered by my insurance in case I accidentally die, and I also have my emergency fund in case I lose my job.”
Young couple Fatima and Lester
Fatima and Lester Abutog are a young couple in their early 30s with three boys aged 12, 8 and 5. Lester is a facilities and construction manager while Fatima is a business channels manager. To say that it’s challenging to raise their family at a young age is an understatement.
How do you secure your kids’ future?
“At ages 32 and 34, we now have three kids, 5, 8 and 12 years old, and all of them are studying. One of our best decisions is to get ourselves insured during our early working years. We were able to get a low premium. Aside from that, the usual savings we allocate every month to secure the future of our kids.”
What worries you most about life?
“With all the challenges we are facing right now, our biggest what if is the health of our family. What if one of us gets a serious illness? We know how expensive healthcare is in the Philippines and we could easily go bankrupt if someone in our family gets into a serious sickness—something that we are not prepared for.”
What is your Plan B?
“Honestly, we can't assume that we are 100% protected because of the uncertainty and volatility. We do our best to take care of our health and we hope that our savings and insurance will be able to cover for us.
Gretchen Filart, single mom
Gretchen, 38, mom of 10-year-old Lia, has been hit hard by the pandemic just like many of us. While she serves as a publishing assistant for a global meditation app, Gretchen is also a freelance writer and editor. When her clients’ businesses were impacted by the pandemic, she lost nearly half her projects. For her and Lia to get by, she used up most of her savings and even incurred loans.
What is your dream for your daughter?
“My dream is for her to be able to pursue a path that’s closest to her heart, whatever that may be. That means leaving her with zero debt, plus sufficient buffer until she graduates from college and is on her first steps toward establishing a career.”
How are you trying to get back?
“My priority right now is to create other means of revenue generation—passive income, constantly looking for other money-making means; eliminate loans slowly but surely using the “snowball method;” and rebuild emergency funds as soon as possible.”
What is your Plan B?
“I keep myself in check and keep as healthy as I can. I’m the breadwinner, after all. I am also always on the lookout for additional work, while aiming to be more financially independent and keeping her protected via an insurance and a college plan.
Pip Mendoza, only child
Pip Mendoza, 28, serves as national marketing manager for an education company. As the only child of his ageing parents, he understands that he’s the only person that his parents can depend on for their future needs and expenses.
How do you cope with being an adult?
“Coping is difficult to begin with. Work is hard and it's not getting easier, but you need to rise to the occasion. I'm just trying to earn as much as I can and save and work towards trying to have a business so that it will be less difficult in the future.”
What worries in life do you and your parents face?
“There's also this looming feeling that something untoward and sudden might happen, to myself or to my parents, especially in a working life such as mine, where we tend to oversee problems in our health. The three of us have very stressful jobs, but we all have our support systems.”
What is your Plan B?
“I do have insurance and I've actually been working toward getting my parents the same coverages too, on top of their company-mandated insurance policies already. I'm practical enough to say that even with all these, we'll never be at ease, but at least we have something to rely on in case these unexpected tragedies finally happen.”
Protect life’s Plan A with Plan B
According to a BDO Life survey of about 1,000 respondents, Filipinos’ sentiments toward life insurance has changed greatly because of the pandemic. Today, 79% of these respondents believe that life insurance is more important than before.
All diligent providers, Renselyn, Fatima and Lester, Gretchen and Pip prove how life insurance gives peace of mind from life’s uncertainties or what ifs.
Protect your family with a Plan B from BDO Life, the wholly-owned life insurance company of BDO Unibank. Its wide range of protection solutions serve as safety nets that help Filipinos protect the people they value most from life’s uncertainties.
To know more, visit www.bdo.com.ph/bdolife. — EUDEN VALDEZ