Five Reasons Why College Education is Important

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“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” -Albert Einstein

 

One of the sentiments that is echoed all over the world when it comes to education is that it is that one thing that cannot be stolen from you. In fact, so many adages have been written which extols the necessity of education in our lives and in the lives of our children.

In a sense, education is the best gift we can give to our children if we want to secure their futures as it is that sole aspect in life which would prepare them for what lies ahead. It shapes their dreams and helps them mold their plans of what they want to be.

Unfortunately, getting a degree and having your children finish college is not as affordable as we wish it to be. For this reason, parents would often send their kids to school but would forego sending them to college as they see it as an unnecessary expense.

However, with wise financial planning, parents can actually prepare for their children’s college education. In fact, there are innumerable policies in insurance Philippines that would offer extensive educational plans. If you are thinking of sending your kids to college, here are some of the motivating factors that might convince you and fortify your decision to enroll them:

1.) Learning how to learn

In the Philippines, most employers would require at least a college degree from any course of their potential hires. Others might find this a bit discriminating, but there is an apparent reason for this.

Employers tend to have a preference for college graduates because these are individuals who understand and appreciate the learning process. New jobs mean new responsibilities and new environment which is why it is essential for potential hires to have the willingness to learn.

2.) Dealing with adversity

Regardless of whether the economy is performing well or not, degree holders tend to find jobs better and easier. It is without a doubt that they are more in demand than those individuals without degrees.

Furthermore, they can better deal with career adversity and they have a multitude of resources should they want to get back on their feet.

3.) Better earning potential

Education is an investment, and you will see how true that would be once you apply for your first job. People with degrees tend to earn more than those without as it is reasonable to expect a certain skill set, talent or expertise from you seeing as you have successfully hurdled through a two or four-year college course.

It matters not whether you only get as far as a two-year degree, you would still have a better chance of landing a job and out-earning someone who only holds a high school diploma.

4.) Learn skills before employment

Your college education will inevitably teach you some skills where you would learn abilities that can be useful for your future employment. College courses are career oriented in a manner that they prepare students for what it would be like in the actual working field. These are not just ordinary classroom lectures either, but in depth explorations of what you would go through should you ever be employed by the industry you choose to study in.

As a result, your potential employers do not only reasonably expect theoretical knowledge from you, but also that you would be able to perform well beyond your classroom experiences.

5.) Personal Satisfaction

Holding your college diploma and earning that degree is a major life goal and a milestone for many. If you have survived your college years in trying to earn that diploma, it will bring you a great deal of personal satisfaction—one which you can relish for years to come.

After all, pushing through college and making it through all the lectures, classes and internships are no easy tasks. Indeed, accomplishing such a goal is an achievement—one that empowers you. Along with this sense of empowerment comes a feeling of confidence—the confidence to step and take on the world and feeling like you are ready for anything.

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Four Basic Insurance Mistakes to Avoid

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“You would not cancel your insurance policy in the middle of a hurricane; you should not sell silver when it takes a tumble. Like any insurance, silver’s value will pay out over time, not day by day.” -Howard Ruff

Insurance is the metaphorical safety net you purchase to protect your family and yourself should any untoward incidents happen. While many have largely resisted getting themselves one seeing no absolute need for it, there has been a massive influx of individuals availing themselves of insurance policies. Most individuals make the mistake of not insuring themselves as they see this as an extra expense whose payoffs they do not get to enjoy unless they die or sick. In other words, they see insurance policies as physical manifestations of delayed gratification.

However, the reality is, having yourself insured is a significant investment and is actually more cost efficient—just think of the piling bills your family would have to contend with if you are uninsured. However, even if an individual does decide to get insurance, it does not automatically mean he is safe from committing any mistakes.

Remember, if you do not want to pay more than what you need, you can always keep insurance costs under control by avoiding making elementary mistakes. So, if you are planning to get insurance in the Philippines anytime soon, here are some mistakes you should avoid:

1.) Not shopping around for policies

One common mistake among people who buy insurance is that they do not shop around for insurance. They would usually take a look at the one offered to them and buy that one outright. If you are in the market for insurance policies, make sure to widen your options. Much like how you buy your household items or clothes, look around, choose the best one with the most reasonable price.

So, read the insurance guide given to you by the agent, make a few calls to several other companies, and you would see how this would make such a huge difference in the price you pay for insurance.

2.) Only comparing rates

While the price and rate are paramount considerations when it comes to buying an insurance policy, it should not only be the only considerations you have. Keep in mind that some insurance policies may be more expensive than the others because it offers a more expansive scope and coverage than the one you are looking to buy.

Furthermore, apart from the policies and packages offered, it would bode you well if you also examined the companies complaint ratio and saw if they have had any complaints in the past. Generally, a company with favorable reviews has a higher customer satisfaction—these are the companies you would want to get insured at.

3.) Not comparing agents

You should be as meticulous in selecting your insurance agents as you are with your insurance policies. Remember that not all agents are created equal, and there is certainly a fair share of charlatans in this industry who are just looking to rob you out of your hard-earned money in the guise of selling you an insurance policy. You should always make sure that your agent is properly licensed.

Additionally, it would be a great help if you could get referrals and if you asked them some questions. Ask them to explain what they are trying to sell to you and how it adds value to your life.

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Just as you would thoroughly read a contract, you should always read the fine print of the policies you are looking to buy. In fact, it is a consumer’s biggest mistake to overlook that and fail to know what their deductibles are. More often than not, if you fail to read your policy meticulously, you would not know what is covered until after disaster has struck.

Apart from thoroughly reading your policy, it would also be a good idea to talk to your agents and find out what is covered. Additionally, do an evaluation each year.

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Best Quotes About Saving Money

 

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When bills are high, cash is always low. That’s because you didn’t save enough money to get you through the difficult times. If you often find yourself wondering how to save money, perhaps, these quotes can motivate you to do just that.

Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving. -Warren Buffet

 

Rich people stay rich by living like they’re broke. Broke people stay broke by living like they’re rich. -Unknown

 

A man who both spends and saves money is the happiest man, because he has both enjoyments. -Samuel Johnson

 

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. -Will Smith

 

Don’t tell me what you value; show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value. -Joe Biden

 

If you find yourself saying to yourself that you can’t afford to save money right now, you are lying to yourself. -Unknown

Save your money. you’re going to need twice as much in your old age as you think. -Michael Caine

If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right. -William Shatner

Have the courage to set down every penny you spend, and add it up weekly. -Josephus Nelson Larned

A penny saved is a penny earned. -Benjamin Franklin

A bargain ain’t a bargain unless it’s something you need. -Sidney Carroll

Every little bit counts, so rather than looking for one big way to save a ton of money, save in lots of small ways and set yourself up for success. -Unknown

Debt is the worst poverty. -Thomas Fuller

One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is to prepare them to be responsible, empowered adults around money. -Unknown

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust. -Oliver Wendell Holmes

If we never save money or invest we will always be poor no matter how much we earn. -Unknown

It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits. -Charles A. Jaffe

A fool can earn money; but, it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage. -Brigham Young

Money in the bank is like toothpaste in the tube. Easy to take out, hard to put back. -Earl Wilson

The goal isn’t more money. The goal is living life on your terms. -Chris Brogan

Money is usually attracted, not pursued. -Jim Rohn

Once you really accept that spending money doesn’t equal happiness, you have half the battle won. -Ernest Callenbach

If you don’t know how to care for money, money will stay away from you. -Robert T. Kiyosaki

Do not educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy. So when they grow up, they will know the value of things, not the price. -Unknown

Spending a lot of money can make you feel significant, and so can spending very little. -Unknown

Don’t be too busy earning a living to make any money. -Joe Karbo

Lots of people know how to make money, but are not gifted in the art of preserving it. Frequently the same risk that was involved in making you rich is the same risk that can make you poor again. -Fred J. Young

The potential to save money, paper and trees is enormous. -Diane Stean

Money should be mastered, not served. -Syrus

The urge to spend all you make is called consumer mentality. Try to get investment mentality instead. -Edward H. Romney

Before you make any purchase, ask yourself if you really need it. In most cases your life won’t be any less full or rich without it. -Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin

Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self. – Nathan W. Morris

The more your money works for you, the less you have to work for money. -Idowu Koyenikan

Budgeting has only one rule: Do not go over budget. -Leslie Tayne

Education is Expensive – Get a College Educational Plan NOW

To continue with my previous post about educational plans, I strongly believe that even when our previous experience was not a good one there is still a virtue in preparing for your child’s future. That’s why my husband and I decided that it is time for our elder daughter to get her own educational plan.

Come the time that she needs to go to college, we might have to shed at least ₱100,000 per year. Really, education is so expensive here in the Philippines. In 2014 alone, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) approved 6 to 14% increase per unit for 287 private colleges and universities.

We have so many choices, but based on what we’ve read, there is no best educational plan. It’s up to you what you deemed best for your child and for us, that’s Paramount Direct with its Dream College Plan. Its plan includes Plan 100, Plan 300, Plan 500 and Plan 1000. I think the basic differences of these plans are the monthly premiums and, of course, the benefits. More on this below.

We chose the Plan 100. Good thing you can apply online because we have no time going to the office and talking to an agent. Here’s how it looks.

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Beneath the ‘Apply Now’ button are fields where you can choose the product and the plan and input your birthdate (mm/dd/yyyy). Next, click the ‘Check Premium‘ button.

Below is another version where you only need to choose the product and the plan before clicking the Apply Now button. Don’t be confused, though; they are basically the same. This is just for the sake of showing you two ways to apply through the site. We used the second version.

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So, again, we chose the Dream College Plan (product) and Plan 100 (plan). There are about four pages to fill out. The first page is the Personal Information of Payor.

first page online application college plan paramount direct

The second page is the Contact Information.

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The third page is the Employment Information.

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The fourth page is the Other Information. This includes the Personal Information of Scholar, Beneficiaries, Non-Forfeiture Options, Health/Medical Information, Declaration on Existing Policy(ies) and Additional Benefits.

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Click the ‘Submit Application‘ button.

Upon clicking the button, you will a confirmation that your application is already received.

confirmation email from paramount direct

An email will be also sent to you, which you also need to confirm.

another confirmation email from paramount direct

The email you will receive details the application. It will also include information on the Schedule of Benefits. See below.

schedule of benefits college plan paramount direct

As promised above, these benefits are for the Plan 100 with the monthly premium of ₱1,245.95. Multiply it by 3 for Plan 300 (₱3,735.95), by 5 for Plan 500 (₱6,225.95) and by 10 for Plan 1000 (₱12,450.95). It’s not exactly that amount, but these will put things in perspective.

For the record, we are still in Step 1. But, we will proceed to Steps 2 and 3 in the coming days. Anyhow, at the second version of the online application, there’s a note below saying, “We will mail the Policy Contract for your review after a few days. If everything is in order upon reviewing, you can complete your application by paying your initial premium so we can activate your policy as soon as possible.”

What I like about this company is it offers various methods for paying your monthly premiums. Here they are:

  • Mail – check or postal money order, the official receipt (OR) will be sent to your address
  • Branch offices – premium billing notice, you will be issued a provision receipt (PR), the OR will be sent to your address
  • Any BDO branch – cash through bills payment slip, you will receive a validation slip
  • Any LBC, bayad center or SM Bills Payment – premium billing notice, you must ask the teller a copy of the notice and receipt aside from the validation slip
  • Credit card – you must fill out and send the Credit Card Authorization Form back to Paramount through email or fax (TeleFAX Number +632 772-9264)
  • Post-dated check – post-dated check with the name and policy number at the back, you will be issued an acknowledgment letter and the OR will be sent to your address

How convenient! With all these, you have no excuse not to pay for your monthly premium.

Of course, while paying for the monthly premium, you still have to save. You shouldn’t think of having a college educational plan as a way to slack, thinking that your child’s education is covered. Well, we are just talking about the tuition fees and there are many other expenses. The price of each book alone, depending on the chosen course, can go as high as ₱1,000.

So, being prepared is the best way to combat the surge of educational expenses in the future especially if you have more than one child.

How to Save, Save, Save?

We all want to, but we have no idea how especially when we are only desperately trying to make ends meet. I remember, two Januaries ago, Kuripot Pinay’s 52-week money challenge went viral online and it even made its way to the evening newscast. In 2014, she started with a ₱50 increment and for this year, she doubled the amount to ₱100 increment. In the 1st week, you need to save ₱50. In the 2nd week, you need to double the amount. In the 3rd week, triple the amount and so on. Do this for 52 weeks. She was able to come up with the ₱70,000 and invested it in stocks.

Interesting enough, there’d been other versions of the challenge such as The Mas Kuripot 52-Week Money Challenge. The other versions are created because the ₱50 increment is very difficult to achieve especially for the students, new grads on their first jobs and mostly, for the unemployed. A modified money challenge uses ₱20 increment while the 2015 version dubbed as the 2015 Pinaka-Kuripot Challenge uses ₱10 increment.

You might be wondering how I suddenly came across these money saving challenges. Well, I am actually looking for effective ways to save money (and Google deemed these strategies as effective enough). From the looks of it, the strategies would be really effective if and only if you have the discipline to save the required amount on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, not all Filipinos have the capacity to do so not because we lack discipline when it comes to saving, but also because we lack discipline in terms of spending.

I found another funny (yet straightforward) post about why Filipinos, in general, are not able to save and invest. I found the post in FinancialPlanningPH.com although I found the un-cropped image at MattsCradle.com. Each statement is so true that it echoes the lack of discipline in how we spend and save. It is a cycle that will go on and on without us realizing that we are actually wasting a lot of money in the process. I also want to share the post. Perhaps, we can all learn a thing or two about this chaos that we face on a monthly basis.

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It is really difficult to save money especially if you don’t have the money to save. Personally, it takes more than discipline (and a steady source of income). We need to learn the value of saving first before we embrace such concept. On the other hand, the majority of us knows the value of saving but we delay it to prioritize our needs first. Good if you are really prioritizing your family’s needs. But come to think of it,

… do you really need to borrow extra money every December and pay for it on January with the money that you haven’t earned yet?

… can’t you think of a more creative and practical Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone? Ehem, tikoy is excusable.

… should a graduation celebration really need to be that bongga with all your friends and relatives from the province?

… how many summer outings do you need just to enjoy the summer? Does it really need to be Bora or nothing else? Why not consider a staycation?

Then came the BER months…

THE POST IS NOT SO FUNNY AT ALL, I realized!

If you are guilty in any of these, then probably, you are doing something terribly wrong with your money. I am guilty to some of the statements (I said some because I have yet to send my daughters to school). But since I know myself too well, I may end up doing the same thing come enrollment time. AMAP, I don’t want that to happen to me and I don’t want that to happen to other parents out there either. That’s why I am thinking of saving this early (as if I can say this early; I am 30 years old already).

What I want to say is it is not yet too late to save. And what I want to show is your ₱10 can go a long way. The secret is DISCIPLINE + PRIORITY = SAVING. I just came up with this formula. We need to be disciplined when spending our hard-earned money by prioritizing our needs. This can lead to savings and eventually, investments.

P.S.

I already have ₱910 in my piggy bank. Go figure.

Just What Comprehensive Insurance Really Is?

It was a typical Friday, November 21st to be exact, when a college friend messaged me on Facebook saying, “I messaged you kasi I just wanted to ask if you and your husband are interested in looking at insurance and investment products.” I wonder what products is she referring to. So, I asked her. Of all the things my college friend listed, one thing strongly struck me – comprehensive insurance.

As a young mother, I am into bulk-buying and I wrongly associate comprehensive with package. I thought what a bargain would it be if I can have everything and everyone insured. That’s the ignorant in me talking. After a few weeks, my friend invited me to a no-commitment financial fitness seminar. There, I heard the word insurance again, and I learned that comprehensive insurance is not what I thought of it initially.

Here are some worth knowing terms.

Comprehensive means that an insurance policy covers all problem areas such as accidental death, critical illness, medical assistance and hospitalization. The policy covers each item on a varying level, so make sure how much is devoted to each item before you pay for it.

There are add-on features so that the insurance coverage will really be tailored to what you need. Don’t be surprised that a comprehensive insurance policy that one company offers is priced slightly higher or lower than other companies. It is all about your needs that’s why these products are basically different from one another.

Premium is the amount that you need to pay for the policy. Again, this differs. The computation is the basics + the add-ons.

Deductible is the amount that you need to shoulder separately than what your insurance company can. When making a claim, as a policyholder (that’s you), you need to participate in paying the cost, too. Don’t fret though because the cost is very minimal.

Insurance companies implement participation so that the policyholders will not abuse the policy. If you’ve been watching teleseryes, you’d know what I am talking about – rich people faking their death to claim an insurance blah blah blah. These are termed as ‘fraudulent claims.’

Your insurance company will do its share of investigation to solidify your claim. If you’ve presented medical evidences, a company representative will cross-check those evidences. That’s diligence on their part, and hello, we are talking about millions here.

Acts of God are natural occurrences that you may include as an add-on. Protection from such acts includes coverage for typhoons, floods, earthquakes, etc.

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Just by knowing the definitions of the terms will give you a hint of what a comprehensive insurance is. For one, it provides savings opportunities in case the unexpected happens. For instance, in case of critical illness, you will receive up to ₱300,000 cash benefit paid in lump sum and up to ₱15,000 per month for 12 months maximum medical assistance benefit. If you die, your family will receive up to ₱1,000,000 cash benefit.

Who wouldn’t want that, right? I think we all should think about getting an insurance policy somehow. I think I know what you are thinking. In 2010, we have witnessed the biggest downfall in the insurance industry here in the Philippines. Our family is a victim of that too, and we haven’t received anything yet.

With this, we really have to obtain insurance policies from the reputable companies. Personally, I think one measure of a company’s credibility is its staying power. An insurance provider must be in the business for more than 5 years now, 10 years probably, 20 years excellent.

Of course, the company must have a reputation of paying its policyholders. Well, I guess, that’s the most important factor to consider.

This boils down to two words: Don’t gamble!

Image credit: rappler.com

Personal Accident Insurance – A Personal Story

The higher the level of coverage, the bigger the cash payout.

It was a Tuesday and the traffic is much heavier than usual. I suspect that there was an accident ahead. True enough, there is! I hate to see the blood all over the street, wondering while looking at the car wreckage whether the driver is still alive or not. It was a head-on collision along Sumulong Highway between a taxicab and a jeepney. An ambulance was yet to arrive, but policemen and traffic enforcers were all over the place.

While on my way to work, I kept thinking about the car driver. From the looks of it, he may not survive the collision and if ever he did, he will definitely sustain injuries that may cost his very livelihood. I can only pray for him and his family. Perhaps, he might have kids who depend on him; they might be even in school. I don’t know for sure.

What I know is my husband is also a jeepney driver and anything can happen to him while driving. We live in Antipolo and the Jeepneys here are usually ‘patok’ – that kind whose drivers love to beat the red light and swerve relentlessly. Not to mention, the banging sounds that make passengers want to alight the jeepney immediately if they could. Everyone who is riding jeepney from Antipolo to Cubao would know what I am talking about.

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What happens if my husband met an accident while on the road? What will happen to me and to our kids (almost 2 years old daughter and another one on the way)? As much as I don’t want to think about it, the everyday scenarios seem to tell me that this is reality. How can I protect our family somehow?

I remember, about 2 years ago, while he was driving down the curves of the highway, his brake failed. Good thing he was able to think straight and looked for a place where he can run the jeepney against. The jeepney was full of passengers. Eventually, he found a vacant lot with a heap of soil next to a building that was being constructed. No one was hurt, thank God, but my husband wasn’t able to drive for about 4 months. He wasn’t even able to eat for a couple of days.

The owner of the jeepney, who also happens to be our godmother, told him to obtain an insurance. According to her, an insurance is his protection in case something happens. I wonder what type of insurance. I researched it and found out that she is talking about a personal accident insurance.

What is personal accident insurance?

Personal accident insurance is specifically created to provide guaranteed cash benefits to a policyholder who had a serious injury or accident (non-fatal or fatal). There are various levels of personal accident coverage. The higher the level of coverage, the bigger the cash payout.

Policyholders need to pay a monthly premium, the amount of which is typically the same throughout the length of the policy. Premiums must be paid continually otherwise you will not be covered in case of an accident or injury. If you stop paying the premiums or cancel the policy, the payments that you have made previously will not be given back to you.

During the policy term, the holder will receive the cash benefit if he or she had an accident which resulted in dismemberment or permanent disablement (terms and conditions apply). In case of death, the immediate family of the holder will receive the cash benefit. Some policies cover the members of the immediate family. However, the extent of their coverage is limited.

Any Filipino resident can avail the insurance. The eligible age, nonetheless, generally vary from one insurance company to another. Personal accident coverage is suitable for employed and self-employed especially to those working in the service sector and with heavy machineries.

You won’t be covered if:

  • the injuries resulted from an illness or disease,
  • the injuries resulted from irresponsibly exposing yourself to danger,
  • the injuries are sustained while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and
  • the injuries are self-inflicted.

These are just some of the terms and conditions. I suggest that you always read the fine print, so you would know what are covered and what are not. Compare various personal accident policies based on the extent of coverage to determine the best coverage for you and your loved ones.

Again, no one wants an accident to happen to anyone. But if you are working on industries wherein injuries and accidents are unavoidable – my husband’s work included – , you might as well take the extra step of protecting yourself as well as your loved ones in the process. This could be in the form of an accident insurance or not. The bottom-line is, obtain protection! And yes, my husband has an accident insurance now.