Finance tips for OFWs


OVER the years, many of our talented countrymen are working outside the country to find greener pastures. Opportunities to earn a decent income may vary depending on the profession that you are in. Still, many of our kababayan, after working for a lot of years abroad, was not able to save and invest money to have a comfortable retirement once they return to their homeland.

On the other hand, most overseas Filipino workers also would like to go back home and retire here with their loved ones.

If you are a Millennial OFW and thinking of building funds as early as now, we would like to share with you the following tips.

1.  Save a portion of your income.

While many OFWs are helping their love ones to sustain their needs in the Philippines, they should still allocate a portion of their income as their savings. I have seen stories of retiring OFWs who weren’t able to save a single centavo because they are helping their clan with all their needs.

Always remember that our goal is to empower our love ones also that they can also earn money to ease the burden of providing alone. If the habit of savings will be developed early on, it will be an advantage for them to prepare for a better future.

2.  Establish your short-term and long-term plans.

As a worker abroad, knowing your plans can help you in your day-to-day decisions. It’s like knowing where you are heading. If we are traveling, we need to know the route we will take to arrive to our destination; this is the same with our finances.

If our goals are clear to us, we will take small actions that will bring us towards those goals. It could be retiring back here in the Philippines, starting a business after 10 years of working or maybe getting married in the next three years.

All of these examples will be relevant for a person to take actions that will be a factor in achieving a certain goal.

3.  Wise use of credit cards.

Having a credit card while working abroad can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the usage. There are emergencies that we might use this. But on a regular basis, it should be used with precaution and according to certain parameters.

If we are using our credit card to earn points and avail promos, then it is to our advantage since we are also paying it on time. On the other hand, there are certain stories wherein people are using it excessively in buying luxury items not knowing that interest rates are piling up.

This will be a downfall for a person because he or she will have a hard time in paying the bills with high interest rates.

4. Look for a business community abroad.

I have seen a lot of OFWs who are able to build their wealth outside the country, too. As they say: “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”

Being surrounded by business-minded individuals can help us to be motivated to take actions towards our financial goals. The best way to succeed in our financial future is having accountability partners who can encourage you in times like these. A very challenging season and, yet, together we can think of ideas how we can monetize our skills and create opportunities.

5.  Invest in your future.

Aside from building your emergency funds, investing will be a contributing factor for an OFW to achieve his or her goals. An investment is a way to build passive income streams. While working in our day job, we also let our money work hard for us.

One way is to invest in mutual funds. Doing a peso-cost averaging method by allocating a portion of your income consistently will help in increasing your profit. As we always say, taking small steps with consistency will bring us somewhere in life.

Aside from mutual fund, one favorite investment type of OFWs is real estate. Nowadays, even you’re outside the country you can buy a property online. Because of this pandemic, developers created seamless process for people outside the country to buy properties in the Philippines specially condominiums.

Many Pinoys abroad are looking for retirement passive income, which can be achieved through rental properties. They just need to make sure that they are acquiring a property that has a potential for rental income.

During this pandemic, there are unforeseen events, especially to a lot of OFWs who went home because of loss of jobs. This is the reason why financial planning is important.

We are preparing for our future through financial stewardship. Maximizing the resources that we have, protecting our income and multiplying it for future needs.

Karlo Biglang-Awa is a registered financial planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal-financial planning, attend the 92nd RFP program in October 2021. To inquire, e-mail [email protected] or text at 0917-6248110.

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