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Tips to #LiveBetter with Vitality in 2018

Happy New Year! Every new year means new beginnings and the first few weeks of the year is a good opportunity to develop new lifestyle habits. These minor lifestyle tweaks are what it would take to reach different goals.

An example is waking up earlier than usual like 5am. This is one of my favorite new year resolutions that I actually started before the end of 2017. Vlogger Sam Ozkural inspired me to do it, watch her video on how waking up early can change your life:

Many of our goals can be categorized into relationships, career, finances, and health. At a glance they look so different from each other but they’re actually so interconnected. An example is when you’re healthy you’d be able to perform better at work, possibly get that promotion that will improve your finances, and allow you to take care of your relationships such as family, especially your children.

Quick and Easy to Do Wellness Hacks to Try in 2018

Taking this example, here are things you can do now to improve your health and spread wellness in all aspects of your life:

1. Relax your senses with scented candles as you destress after a long day at work. You deserve these few minutes of peace and quiet. It’s a simple way to love yourself more and feel taken cared of.

2. Squeeze in a few minutes of fitness no matter where you are. I recommend using any type of resistance bands. They’re portable, affordable, easy to store, and you can find full body workouts on YouTube that use resistance bands. If you’re new to working out, this is a good and practical way to start.

 

Tip: Watch Camp #LiveBetter for inspiration on how to get fit outside of the gym. You’ll also learn fitness tips straight from celebrities Solenn Heussaf, Nico Bolzico, and Raymond Gutierrez. Camp #LiveBetter is a total wellness game show powered by Philam Vitality that will help contestants train harder, eat healthier, and manage their finances better.

 

3. Fuel your body with complex carbs like brown rice or biodynamic rice. From my own experience, brown rice is the easiest way to lose belly fat. I even think they help in building abs! I’m not a nutritionist so try it for yourself in 2018 and let me know how brown rice helps you.

 

4. Worry less about your finances by making informed choices. One of the worries we’ll always have is money. But, if we take charge of our financial wellness by learning more then we’d fear less about the future and enjoy our life more.

Make it one of your habits to check out financial products from different companies. Here are 3 financial products to check out from Philam Life:

Active Money Works

Active Family Provider

Active Health Invest Plus

You can read about other financial products from this blog here. Contact a registered financial planner or a licensed financial adviser if you’re interested to know more about these investment and insurance plans.

5. Make every day count. Days make up weeks, months, and an entire year. Don’t wait for tomorrow and rob yourself of achieving your goals and living your life to the fullest. One of my mantras this year is to “just go” because sometimes, overthinking gets us nowhere and as they say – action speaks louder than words. Try to squeeze the most out of each day. Make every day the best day of your life.

 

What are your New Year resolutions and goals? Please share your tips and motivational thought via comments below! 

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Teaching Kids the Value of Investing

The common misconception is that kids may be too young to be taught about how to handle their money. But the danger behind this is we assume that children will not be able to understand what saving means even after we have taught them. So instead of actually teaching them earlier, we wait a couple of more years when they are almost an adults to teach them the importance of delaying gratification.

Turning investment into a family activity

Obviously, you cannot start their financial literacy lessons with terms like diversified portfolios and mutual funds. Start with the basics like saving money. Simply telling them saving money does not mean you get to spend it all in one go. While it is important to buy things that will add value or generally make you happy, it also pays to delay gratification. What this means is if they want a toy now, they would have to forego buying sweets for a couple of weeks so that they can buy the toy and still have money left in their piggy bank.

 

When you see improvements on how they handle the money you give them that is when you slowly give them an idea about what investing means. Tell them the difference between saving money and making it grow by investing it. You can tell them that investing is one of the ways they can make more money out of the money they have now. Maybe you can start with simpler concepts to grasp like stocks — which is buying a tiny piece of a company, and then telling them the importance of being on top of that company’s performance.

 

Adapt to your children’s learning style

Some kids get bored when you simply define terms to them, especially on a topic like this. The best way to deal with this problem is knowing your children’s preferred learning style. Some kids understand concepts more when there are stories involved. Maybe you can talk about your experience with saving and investing money, the first time you chose a company to invest in and the day-to-day tracking you are doing to make sure they are performing well.

 

Some kids are more visual, which means they might want to see graphs and pictures while you are explaining. What you can do is pick a company that they might be interested in from your own portfolio, print out the latest reports , and then show it to them. There are kids who would like hands-on experience, and for this one, you have two options:

 

  • If you are already thinking about buying stocks again, let them do it. Just instruct them on what to do and explain what happens in each step.
  • Open their own investment account and ask them which company they want to start with. Preferably, start with companies that are already in your own portfolio since you know how those are performing in the market.

 

Use everything that you have as tools for teaching them like videos, apps, pictures, and so on.

 

One of the most effective ways to keep them interested is to start involving them in your investment transactions. Explain to them the concept of risks and rewards, show them that there will be times when it seems like an investment is losing money, and tell them what you do as a countermeasure. Learning financial literacy is important no matter what age; it is best that you start teaching them now.

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Fitness Tips That Will Save You Money

2017 is about to end, but before that Pasko na naman and that means working extra hard to keep in shape despite all the parties and free flowing food! How did you fare with your fitness goals for 2017? Congratulations if you’re on track. If you’re not and have stumbled upon some roadblocks such as finding a healthy lifestyle expensive, then this post is written with you in mind. Para sa’yo ito girl!

Many of us faced fitness challenges this year, lalo na with the rising cost of living plus the demands of modern lifestyle. Sometimes, not only money is scarce but also time. Here are tips that I tried this year which helped me stay on the fitness track:

 1. Say good-bye to the gym and workout from home – when people ask me where I workout this year, at first I was embarrassed to answer and wished I can say fancy gym names. But now, I proudly answer “sa bahay lang!“. Moving my workout purely at home made me more creative, saved me lots of money because working out at home is FREE, and gave me even more time to spare for work and family.

I only had to invest in a few items like a workout bench and brought out my old dumbbells. Here’s a photo of me and my son working out together, salingkit lang sha but I like how I can spend time with him working out at home.

How much you’ll save: Up to P2,500 monthly and a lot of time!

2. Join FREE community workouts – I’m not just talking about your baranggay’s free zumba class but I recently discovered that Sun Life Philippines hosts several workouts (almost every month) and for FREE! It doesn’t even matter if you’re a Sun Life client or not. All you have to do is join their GoWell community.

So far, I’ve attended  about 2 GoWell workouts – one at Shangri-la Fort BGC (wow) and another one in SMX SM Mall of Asia. These special workouts are normally just for gym members or you have to pay a special fee to join. Here’s one of my GoWell experiences where you can also get tips on how to join.

How much you’ll save: P1,500 + earn Instagram worthy photos that won’t break your budget! #Fitspiration #workout #fitnessgoal #fitness

3. Invest in financial products with Health & Fitness benefits – speaking of Sun Life, they have a product called Sun Fit & Well. This product has preemptive wellness benefits that allow you to proactively maintain your health. You can enjoy special access and privileges to various wellness activities that will help you stay fit and healthy – all while helping you save and invest for your own financial goals.

I encouraged my husband to get this product for himself (with the help of our financial adviser), in fact he’s not into fitness at all. So don’t think that this product is just for the fitness enthusiasts, everyone needs to be healthy and prepared for times of illness.

Read more about Sun Life Fit & Well

How much you’ll save: Up to 100,000 in case you get critically ill + wellness program (typically worth P25,000/month) + death benefit + earnings + so much more!

4. Local superfoods – Eating healthy may sound expensive, especially when you hear foods like chia seeds, kale, spinach, organic this and that. Superfoods are great but I have an alternative to kale and spinach that’s a lot cheaper and you can buy from your sari-sari store. These are saluyot and kangkong. You can use them for smoothies just like any “super greens”.

For other supplies like chia seeds, organic snacks, and food which I treat as “treats” for my body, I get them from local stores like Ultra Super Green. They are cheaper than health stores found in the mall and they also showcase locally sourced and produced whole foods.

How much you’ll save: Up to P2,000 monthly by choosing local!

5. Keep it up! – Leading a healthy and fit lifestyle can be hard especially we have other real-life responsibilities to fulfill. Get back up when you fall through the cracks and don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout or enjoyed the buffet. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Being healthy is all about having a balanced life – physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Remember that when we exercise, we actually become more productive and have better clarity. In my experience, working out helps me excel better in my family and work life.

Not working out on the other hand may demotivate you from eating healthy, make you more sedentary, and increase your risk of falling sick or ill.

How much you’ll save: Lots of money from preventing sickness and living a brighter, active life for you and your family.

Remember, being healthy shouldn’t break your budget. Get inspiration from the things around you and your fitness level shouldn’t depend on how fancy your gym membership is. Hard work and determination are what it takes, enjoy every step of your fitness journey and don’t forget to think about your financial fitness too!

Do you have your own tips to share? Please share them below and good luck to all of us and our fitness and money goals!

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Planning for Retirement in Your 30’s

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. – Andy Rooney

It’s never too early or too late to plan for your retirement. It is inevitable that all of us will reach our senior years and be awarded our Senior IDs. Kaya lang, being retired will not exempt us from having to pay bills and incurring living expenses.

Do you remember that story in Maalaala mo Kaya of a former school principal who at her very old age now needs to work at the same school, but as a janitress? It tugged a lot of viewers’ hearts but I know her story is only one of many Filipino seniors who are unable to retire comfortably.

Ikaw, paano mo gusto mag retire? Do you want to remain independent and have the ability to pay for your own needs and wants? Or, are you planning to depend on your family or children to take care of you? Sabi nga nila, ang matandang may na-ipon ay pinag-aagawan ng kanyang mga anak. Ang matandang walang pera ay siyang iniiwasan. How true is this in your experience with your older relatives? Before we go off-track (I know we all have plenty of stories in this topic), let’s focus on our own future first.

If you’re in your 30’s like me then I’m sure you will agree that 30 feels like the prime of our life. Hopefully, we’ve found our own passion and honed our skills enough that we’re able to earn, save, and even provide for our family. Physically, our muscles and bones are also at their peak. Most 30 year olds have the energy, emotional and mental maturity, and drive to go after their aspirations – including financial goals.

 

4 Simple Ways to Start Your Retirement Planning Now

Disclaimer: I am not a registered financial adviser, these tips are based on my own research, aspirations, and dreams for my own retirement. Please research or contact a financial adviser before following any of these.

Magsimula na tayo! All of us have different skills, income, realities, and situation. These tips start from the most affordable to the more complex level of investments. Let me know via comments below which of these are applicable to you.

 

1. Keep Your PhilHealth Membership Active – Health is wealth. As we get older, the more aches and pains we will feel. Of course it depends on how we take care of our health right now. Having a PhilHealth membership will reduce your fear of hospital expenses especially when you need medical attention.

If you’re a mom like me, you already know how PhilHealth can reduce hospital bills especially when our children get sick. Keep paying your monthly PhilHealth premiums or if you don’t have one yet, it’s time to be a PhilHealth member now so you can enjoy senior health benefits when you reach 60.

2. Contribute to the Social Security System – Are you an SSS member? I only got back to my contributions this year as a voluntary member as I realize that SSS is the most affordable and dependable pension plan there is for Filipinos. That is just my opinion.

 

This is a good place to start when it comes to having a pension plan in the future. As seen on the illustration above, the more and longer you contribute – the higher the monthly pension you’d be able to receive.

While SSS pension may not be enough for many (let’s factor in inflation rates), it’s still good to have this monthly and stable source of income for your living allowance.

3. Mutual Funds – Investing in mutual funds is another way to accumulate wealth and earn profit that you can use for your retirement. Just a few weeks ago, the Philippine Stock Market kept on breaking record highs. This means that if you invested in mutual funds (usually comprised of blue chip companies like Ayala, San Miguel, SM, etc.) then the value of your investment would have also increased.

Mutual funds may sound intimidating at first but in simple terms, investing in mutual funds means investing in a group of big companies that’s been hand-picked by a fund manager. I’m not a financial expert but my Sun Life financial advisor introduced me to mutual funds 7 years ago and I started my investment with just 5,000 pesos.

Sun Life offers different types of mutual funds: Index, Equity, Balanced, and Bond. Which you’ll choose will depend on your own financial goals and risk appetite. Sabi nga nila, the higher the risk, the higher the returns. Iinvest mo lang ang pera na hindi mo kakailanganin sa panandalian.

Choosing mutual funds has several advantages, una sa lahat ay mas malaki ang maaari nitong kitain kumpara sa savings account mo sa bangko.

Read and Learn the Mutual Fund Basics direc from Sun Life Philippines.

4. Private Pension PlanKung may SSS, meron ding pension plans na ino-offer ang mga financial companies. What I like about pension plans is their “guaranteed benefit or returns” it is similar to investing regularly in a mutual fund but a pension plan will have a guaranteed return to be paid to you in a specific period. Sometimes on top of guaranteed returns, there’s also additional variable returns that will depend on the market’s performance such as dividend earnings.

Now that I am 32, I’m starting to imagine what my life would be at 40, 50, and 60. Will I still get to earn as much and how much would I need? While I try to invest regularly in mutual funds which I know are a safe investment (since I chose Sun Life), I also just like to know I can count on a guaranteed pension or passive income, no matter what the market or political situation looks like.

Mabuti na ang sigurado! In an ideal world, we’ll all follow these 4 ways to prepare for retirement – marami pa ngang iba na hindi natin napag-usapan. But, if we can’t make it through then it’s still good that we have set our goals for retirement.

One of my goals in 2018 is to be able to afford another financial product by Sun Life Philippines, this is the Sun Acceler8. It’s not marketed as a pension plan but it can be used for this purpose. Let me share with you some more information, continue reading below.

Sun Life Acceler8 as a Starter Retirement Fund

Sun Acceler8 is a protection and savings product in one that provides guaranteed cash benefits at specific periods throughout the duration of the policy, plus a lump sum maturity benefit at the end of 20 years. What makes this product unique is that both the insurance coverage and the guaranteed cash benefits accelerate over time, addressing potential loss of value of one’s money brought about by inflation.

The guaranteed benefits of the product may be withdrawn to alleviate education funding needs, or may be accumulated as a starter retirement fund.

What I like about this product is the guaranteed cash benefits starting at the end of the 8th year and every two years thereafter, until the 20th year. This means that if I invest in 2018, I can start reaping the rewards in 2026 until 2038 and by then, I’m already in my 50s. Another plus is that total guaranteed cash benefits is equal to 200% of the Face Amount! They say that for money to double in value, it will take 72 years but not when you plan and invest early. In this case, it’ll only take less than 20 years.

Who knows what my life would be like in my 50s, while it’s not yet the retirement age I’m worried about not having as much opportunities as I do now in my 30s and worried that I won’t be earning as much. I like to gift my future self with this Sun Acceler8 to kick start my “golden years” so I can worry less and enjoy life at any age.

Do you have any tips, questions, or experience on how to plan for a bright future and retirement? Please share them via comments below!

P.S. Watch this short film to make you think about planning for old age and inspire you in your financial journey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPz5o0FvIgE

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Philam Life Highlights Financial Fitness at #LiveBetter Expo

Philam Life’s Vitality app is now popular among individuals who want to be physically and financially fit. I have friends who’ve used the app to motivate their fitness goals and earn real-life rewards like free movies and lifestyle gift certificates. The app is part of Philam Life’s #LiveBetter campaign.

WATCH: Our Experience at Philam Life’s #LiveBetter Expo

Here’s a vlog taken by my husband, spot me in this video enjoying all the fitness stuff!

As a follow up to the Vitality app, Philam Life also holds #LiveBetter expos around the Philippines. Just recently, a #LiveBetter expo was held near us at Glorietta Activity Center. It was a magnet for anyone who’s not just into fitness but also those who want to secure a healthy future. Entrance was free and there were a lot of free activities and prizes for everyone.


Visitors get a special Philam Life #LiveBetter loot bag

The expo brought to life the catchphrase “health is wealth”. No matter how cliche it is, it is the truth nonetheless. For me, the opposite is also true – “wealth is health”. The two should go together and #LiveBetter expo did a great job at making Filipinos realize the connection between physical, mental, and financial wellness.

Fitness Motivation

At #LiveBetter expo, you can expect exciting booths that showcase fitness equipment, gears, and accessories that can inspire any health buff. Of course, you don’t always need the best and latest equipment BUT different people have different methods of achieving their health goals.

I always wondered what it’d be like if I had my own stationary bike at home. It’s one of those dreams I have (plus a treadmill) that I know would cost money. For dreams like this, Philam Life has financial products that can help us make these goals come true  – whether it’s a new fitness equipment, a travel adventure, or even something as big as retirement.

Participants also enjoyed booth challenges that have instant rewards. Apart from getting to try a really expensive stationary bike, I also enjoyed the treadmill for a few minutes. It’s from Philam’s Vitality booth, when you complete the time you get a free photo taken plus a refreshing Vitality drink!

Financial Fitness Advice

Depending on how you fare or what you enjoyed from each booth, the expo will give you an idea of where you are at your health and financial journey. Philam Life provides free financial advice during their #LiveBetter expo. Their advisers are very high-tech with their tablets that aid in explaining your financial health.

Fitness Inspiration

Nico Bolzico, Solenn Heusaff, and Raymond Guttierrez are Philam Life’s ambassadors. Who hasn’t followed any one of them on Instagram? I admire Solenn for her discipline when it comes to health and fitness. I do follow her on Instagram and it was a treat to see her in person sharing her fitness and health tips in the flesh!

There is a clear consensus among the three ambassadors and that is, “fitness” is not just all about growing muscles, eating healthy, having a great body. Fitness is achieved when you achieve “balance” in life – health, family, finances. I know what they mean and Nico also touched on meditation and mental health which is a pressing issue with all the modern pressures of the digital age.

Philam Life #LiveBetter Expo in Baguio on September 23

Philam Life will roll out more events like this and the next leg would be in Baguio City! Follow Philam Life on Facebook for more details on this and upcoming events.

The Expo is packed with exciting activities, inspiring speakers and so much prizes! You’ll also get a chance to meet the ultimate fitspirations, Raymond Gutierrez and Nico Bolzico, who’ll show you how being healthy can be so much fun.

I am very happy that more and more financial companies are promoting financial fitness. Filipinos have a long way to go when it comes to financial literacy. Campaigns like this not only increase our financial awareness but also, highlight that we need to work on all aspects our lives to live better!

 

 

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.

Microinsurance and Disaster Preparedness | Affordable Life, Accident, and Property Insurance

Disaster preparedness is more than packing a go bag with flashlights, first aid kit, and food supply. During the 2017 Disaster Resilience Forum, resilience has been defined as having the ability to get back on one’s feet after a disaster. In the Philippines, this means typhoons, earthquakes, and on a smaller scale – accidents like fire or death can also be considered as a disaster for the Filipino family.

Cebuana Lhuillier and the Insurance Commission are working together to provide tools that can help protect Filipinos against these disasters. One of these tools is microinsurance.

What is micro-insurance?

Micro insurance has a more affordable premium compared to standard insurance products. Microinsurance premiums are usually within a minimum-wage worker’s capacity to pay.  By definition, an insurance guarantees compensation for specific loss, damage to property, illness, or death in exchange of paying the premium.

Cebuana Lhuillier is one of the leading microinsurance provider in the Philippines. They have microinsurance products that protect from the following:

– Burglary, and robbery insurance for small and medium enterprise business
– Fire, lightning insurance for home owners
– Accidental death, dismemberment, and disablement insurance
– Acts of nature on vehicles and more

If you remember during Ondoy, many cars were submerged in flood. Unfortunately, not all car owners are insured and majority had to shoulder the cost of repair to get their vehicles running again. For those whose vehicles were insured, the insurance company shoulders the cost of repair and damage incurred. Take note that different insurance companies would have different limits, terms, and conditions.

How much does microinsurance cost?

Citing from the Cebuana Lhuillier website, microinsurance premium can be as low as P10 pesos. But one of the most attractive microinsurance product that they carry is the Alagang Cebuana Plus (ACP) Gold.

Alagang Cebuana Plus (ACP) Gold cost only P40 pesos and is valid for 4 months. After 4 months, you have to pay another P40 to keep you and your family protected from the following and receive the respective benefits:

1. Accidental Death, Dismemberment, and Disablement – P20,000 per Confirmation of Cover (COC).
2. Murder and Unprovoked Assault – P5,000 per COC.
3. Fire Cash Assistance – P5,000 per COC.
4. Micro-life insurance (death) – P5,000 per COC

Another microinsurance product offered by Cebuana Lhuillier is NegosyoCare. NegosyoCare is designed to protect micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from damages to property caused by fire, typhoon and flood, and even burglary and robbery. Negosyocare premium cost P1,500-2,500 and is valid for 1 year.

These are just 2 of many microinsurance products offered by Cebuana. You can check the complete list of microinsurance products suitable for different types of needs whether you are a homeowner, motorist, security guard, employee, and depending on your budget.

Cebuana Lhuillier also recently introduced RAPIDO which stands for Claims Rapid Action in a Disaster-Stricken Area Operations. RAPIDO is an initiative that enables Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions (CLIS) to immediately process and settle claims right at the site where a disaster had just occurred.

Mommy Lace is a blogger from the Philippines. She started this blog to share information on pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, family, and health.