Updated: February 10, 2014
Last month, I did an online survey on the financial situation of Filipino families.
I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to answer the questions.
Below are the current summary of responses, and my personal thoughts about it.
What is your biggest source of income today?
- Salary from being an employee: 85%
- Income from being self-employed: 8%
- Income from businesses: 5%
- Income from investments: 2%
Employment is still the biggest source of income for families. This could mean that there is still a big lack of education, resources and opportunities for Filipinos to go into business. I hope that entrepreneurship can grow to at least 10% in the next few years.
Are you confident about the future of your career in your current employment?
- Yes: 45%
- No: 55%
While employment is a good and practical source of income, it’s interesting to see that more than half are not confident about the future of their career in their current employment. I believe most of them are either hoping to become entrepreneurs in the future, or they’re still looking for better opportunities in other companies.
Are you struggling with having too many bills, loans or debts to pay?
- Yes: 38%
- No: 62%
62% of respondents say that they’re not financially struggling with bills, loans and debts. It’s good to know that more than half are able to properly manage their cashflow. Given enough time and financial education, I believe those in the other group can make significant changes in their finances.
Do you carry any significant financial responsibilities with growing children and/or aging parents?
- Yes, growing children only: 24%
- Yes, both growing children and aging parents: 28%
- Yes, aging parents only: 28%
- No: 21%
When it comes to financial responsibilities, more than half are involved with elder care. As part of the Sandwich Generation, they need to properly plan their finances to make sure that they won’t struggle in the future when the medical expenses of their parents start to put pressure on their budget.
Do you have enough savings and investments for your child’s college education?
- Yes: 27%
- No: 73%
73% believe that they don’t have enough savings and investments to fund their child’s education. This is a fairly big number, which I hope would go down in the future. Parents should look into ways to decrease their household expenses and seek extra sources of income as early as now if they hope to overcome this challenge.
Are you concerned about not having enough protection in case of disability, long-term illness or even death?
- Yes: 75%
- No: 25%
It’s also alarming that 75% are concerned about not having enough financial protection in case of disability, long-term illness or death. Unlike other financial problems, the solution to this is simply to get life insurance and long-term health care, and there are a lot of options and affordable packages that are available in the market today that can address these needs.
What is your ideal amount of money that you would want to retire with?
- less than P1M: 3%
- P1M to P10M: 38%
- P10M to P20M: 30%
- P20M to P30M: 11%
- more than P30M: 18%
When it comes to retirement, I’m concerned about the 3% who believe they’ll only need less than P1M for their retirement – this won’t be enough in my opinion considering the rising costs of medical expenses, not to mention memorial services.
What is your ideal retirement age?
- before 40 years old: 3%
- between 40 to 50 years old: 18%
- between 50 to 60 years old: 39%
- between 60 to 70 years old: 36%
- after 70 years old: 4%
Meanwhile, 4% answered that their ideal retirement age is after 70 years old. While I don’t know what they’re planning to do until that time, I just hope it will be work that gives them self-fulfillment.
Do you have enough savings and investments for your retirement?
- Yes: 14%
- No: 86%
Honestly, it’s not surprising for me that a lot of people believe that they don’t have enough savings and investments yet for their retirement because it is actually a life-long process. What’s important is to learn and accept the fact that there is a need to prepare for one’s retirement, and there is a need to act now.
Do you think there is a large number of Filipino families who struggle financially and need help to improve their financial situation?
- Yes: 99%
- No: 1%
Lastly, almost everyone believes that there is a huge need to educate Filipino families on financial literacy. And I hope all those who answered “Yes” can join me in this advocacy, in helping others to become financially free.
The results are not a representation of the general population of Filipino families, but it does give us a glimpse of the financial situation of the middle-income class, whom most of the responses came from.
I’m still accepting responses, by the way. I plan to continuously gather data on this and publish its results every six months to see how the situation is changing over time. Finally, special thanks to my team at the IMG Wealth Academy for helping me with the survey.
How about you? What do you think about the results?