The Personal Finance Habits of Filipinos

Updated: September 24, 2014

I’ve been attending a lot of personal finance seminars lately and each time, I learn a little something about the personal finance habit of Filipinos.

In summary, it’s really alarming how poorly we manage our money and how much of the population don’t see the importance of nurturing good financial habits.

Below are some of the facts I’ve gathered on how Filipinos are when it comes to their financial future.

These information come from various sources but majority is taken from a report by SOLAR or the Sun Life’s Study of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Relationships – a research sponsored by Sun Life Financial-Philippines.

86% of Filipinos are concerned with inflation but 67% think savings and time deposits are the best way to beat inflation
It’s good that most people know what inflation is but one should realize that savings and time deposit interest rates are ALWAYS lower than the inflation rate.

Insurance penetration rate remains low in the country with only 3% per annum growth in life insurance sales
Life insurance has been evolving for the past years and many now offer them as an investment package which makes it more beneficial than ever before.

76% are concerned about paying for health treatment YET only 35% rely on health insurance
When I quit the corporate world, one of the first things I did was to get personal medical insurance and I must say that it’s one of the most essential things you need to have. It’s quite comforting to know that you can seek instant medical help when you need it without much worry about the possible expenses. Remember that health makes wealth.

Here are some more very interesting and alarming facts about the personal finance habits of Filipinos:

Out of 100 Filipinos who are at age 65:

  • 45 are dependent on relatives
  • 30 are dependent on charity
  • 23 are still working
  • ONLY 2 are financially independent

Out of 100 Filipino children who enter elementary school:

  • only 40 gets to attend High School
  • only 27 of that will go College
  • and only 10 of them will graduate

Out of 100 Filipinos who get sick:

  • 95 of them will dig into their savings to pay for the doctor and hospital bills
  • but moreover, 53 of those will borrow money from family members and relatives because their savings are not enough
  • and in the end, only 19 will be confident enough to pay for the total treatment costs

So which part of the statistic are you?

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Lastly, I encourage everyone to check out the It’s Time Campaign of Sun Life Financial – Philippines. Do take this 10-minute online test with agent Lucy and you’ll learn a lot on how you can improve your finances today.

Oh by the way…

If you’d like to talk a Sun Life Financial Advisor about their life insurance or mutual fund products, then you can just fill up the form here.


Photo credit: Daniel Y. Go and grubby cunning


  1. Hey Fitz, these facts are really alarming! This means we need to raise more awareness on how Filipinos could become more responsible in handling our finances. At least, now that I am not yet 30 years old, I have learned the value of investment and sound financial management. I’m on the right road, I think. 🙂

    kudos to your blog for raising financial awareness.

  2. Hello Fitz! I attended this event too and was very alarmed with the statistics… I had no idea it was that bad! I was exposed to the importance of insurance and savings at an early age – my dad passed away when I was in grade school. Thankfully he had insurance. I think most Filipinos think it’s morbid to talk about these things but in truth it’s really a nice way of showing your family that you care 🙂

  3. “86% of Filipinos are concerned with inflation but 67% think savings and time deposits are the best way to beat inflation” nice data here, thanks to Sun Life Financial. I completely agree with you sir Fitz on this “It’s good that most people know what inflation is but one should realize that savings and time deposit interest rates are ALWAYS lower than the inflation rate.” Which means that our savings deposit on our bank is just being ‘eaten’ by the inflation rate. Add to the fact that we still pay for withholding tax on our interest earned, which is just miniscule. So in the end we just lose money.

  4. I think the hardest thing that we Filipinos have to learn is the art of saving money CONSISTENTLY. We need to integrate saving as part of daily living. Just because you are meticulously saving does not mean you are depriving yourself or your children. Saving can be a cushion, a chance for you to have longer vacations, an opportunity for you to build your businesses…. the potential is there, the problem is sticking to a plan and executing it.

  5. great information Fitz… I was searching for a good health insurance or a medical card since I am out of the corporate compound now. I believe in the importance of this. Do you recommend any nice health card company?

  6. Hi Hannah. I am with Insular Life’s iCare.

    The company I used to work for had an account with them. When I resigned, I just called them up and asked to convert my corporate plan to an individual plan.

    Maybe you should also start with your last company’s HMO and see if you can have yours converted.

  7. Hi! The statistics you presented are very alarming and at the same time very insightful. I’m currently doing a research on financial habits and practices of Filipinos. Can you share the SOLAR report or do you know where I can get a copy of it? Thanks!

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