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The Budgetarian

Millennial OFW asks, ‘Is it still worth going back to the Philippines?’

FQ (Financial Quotient) - Rose Fres Fausto - Philstar.com
Millennial OFW asks, âIs it still worth going back to the Philippines?â
There may be some adjustments, if needed, but we should forge ahead with our goals and dreams in life. 

Question from reader

Dear FQ Mom, 

I’m an OFW in my 30s and my original plan was to just stay in my host country for a few years and then go back to work in the Philippines so I can be with my loved ones. With what has been happening in our country now, do you think it is still worth pursuing my dream to go back to the Philippines?

Millennial OFW via email

My reply

Hi Millennial OFW. I hear you. You are not alone in wanting to change your plans because of what is happening in our country. It is indeed unthinkable to witness the majority of our countrymen giving the highest post in the land to the heir of the dictator who pillaged our country for over two decades. 

You are not alone in your thoughts. There has been a surge in online searches for work abroad among Filipinos. Soon after the elections, I have also been asked by our employees and some of my students whether it is still worth pursuing their dreams here in our country.

While it is normal and even helpful to express our disappointment, or even disgust, about what’s happening, we should remember that we should not allow them to ruin our dreams. There may be some adjustments, if needed, but we should forge ahead with our goals and dreams in life. 

In your case, are you working abroad because you have to support your family? If your dream is to be with your loved ones in the Philippines and you are just working in your host country due to better financial opportunities there, here are some things that you can consider.

1. Set clear terms and conditions about your financial support. If you are supporting beyond your nuclear family and legitimate dependents, have a clear agreement on the following: 

a) Who are entitled to the financial support? If you are supporting your parents, does that go beyond their own needs? Sometimes parents tend to equalize wealth distribution among children and may siphon off funds intended for them to children who they perceive to be lacking.

b) When is the deadline for your support especially to the younger relatives who sometimes overstay in school. If they can, encourage them to earn on the side to help fund their allowance.

c) What are the specific uses of your financial support? You don’t want your dependents to be using your hard-earned dollars irresponsibly buying the latest gadgets in town, or indulging in luxuries that you, yourself, don’t even enjoy.

2. Understand your relationship with money and align what you do with and for money with your core values so that you don’t get lost in the way. Share this with your family members so that you are all in the same boat as you go on with your financial journey. Do the exercises in "FQ Book 1" together with your family so you share a common compass for the use of money.

3. Remember to remain humble even as you firm up your position in the above steps.

4. If you are married and away from your spouse, revisit your arrangement. Do you really need to be away from each other? Are there sacrifices that may be worth making just so you can raise your family together?

5. Do your best in your existing job in your host country. Exhaust all means to further enhance your skills. Bear in mind that your years of stay should not only give you financial gains but also gains in training and worthwhile work experience. Look out for scholarships or other forms of training that you can get from your employer.

6. If you’re one of the OFWs who dream of come home to start your own business, do not get into something unrelated to what you know. This is going against the second basic law of money which is: Get only into a business that you understand. It should be something that has to do with your core competence. Never make the mistake of getting into something just because the profit margins are high. Yes, there are businesses that provide high profit margins, but this will only be true if you have the competence to do it. That’s why it’s important to seriously do no. 5 so that when you come home, you have something great to offer. We all have our unique set of gifts, passion and extraordinary abilities. My paraphrase of a Frederich Beuchner quote is a worthwhile guide in discerning God’s will as well as your next career move: God’s will for you is the intersection of your greatest passion and the world’s greatest need. The Japenese call this Ikigai. This is your sweet spot, where you are almost effortlessly good at and what people really need from you. And because you’re passionate in doing it, you attract people and the money follows.

7. Continue networking with fellow Filipinos or even other nationalities about how to prepare for your coming back to the country. Activities with like-minded individuals provide encouragement and speed up learning curves. 

8. Stay happy and strive to be the best version of yourself. Our happy disposition is our charm and weapon. Use it to your advantage. No matter how disappointed you are right now, continue being a good citizen in your host country and of the Philippines. I was asked, “So, should I still pay my taxes?” The answer to that is “Of course. Never allow them to stop you from being the best version of yourself.”

9. Continue to combat disinformation and fake news. Let’s face it, the battle was won through troll farms, years of disinformation and fake news using the war chest acquired through years of plunder. We cannot give up now. In your own space in your host country and the online world, be a defender of the truth.

10. Don’t give up on the Philippines. No matter what, this is our only country. Mahirap man gawin, mahalin pa rin natin ito. When I asked Rapa Lopa, the author of the book "To Love Another Day", if the Filipino is still worth dying for, he answered, “The Filipino is worth loving more.” 

I hope the above points will help you still pursue your dream of coming back to our one and only country.

I have something more for you and all the OFWs out there. On Thursday on “Money Lessons with FQ Mom”, my guest will be Randell Tiongson. Among the financial gurus I know, he’s the one who is very knowledgeable in helping OFWs. You will learn a lot from him. Send in your questions so I can ask him during the show. 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1. To learn more about your money behavior, get your copy of FQ books and for your loved ones too. The principles you will learn from here are not only applicable in your financial life but all the other important aspects of your life. https://fqmom.com/bookstore/

To know more about “FQ Book 2”, watch this short video.

2. How good are you with money? Do you want to know your FQ score? Take the FQ test and get hold of your finances now. Scan the QR code or click the link http://fqmom.com/dev-fqtest/app/#/questionnaire

This article is also published in FQMom.com.


Attributions: Images from Philstar, Bilyonaryo, OFW Newbeat
 

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