Today, you may be in your 20s, enjoying the endless possibilities of youth. After all, you only live once. Then one day, you’ll wake up at 50 or 60 years old with no investments of value to speak of. That might be a bleak image, but it’s one that’s not far-fetched.
According to the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index, 63 percent of Filipino millennials expect to enjoy a better lifestyle when they reach retirement age than the one they’re living now. At the same time, however, only 7 percent of the surveyed respondents have a regular monthly investment plan and a good 28 percent only invest “when they feel like it.”
The results of the survey show that even though Filipino millennials expect a good retirement, few regularly set aside money to prepare for it. If you’re one of those, no worries. You can still have the comfortable retirement you deserve and desire by investing in the following things while you’re still in your 20s:
- Real Estate
It may seem too early, but it’s best to invest in a property when you’re young. In Filipino culture, homeownership is still one of the most telling signifiers of “making it” and somehow also serves as an indicator of responsible adulthood. When you invest in a property, you’re investing in your future.
The good thing about this is you don’t even have to live in the property that you buy. Let’s say you own a condo in Makati, but you work in Ortigas. While the distance isn’t too far, you’re better off staying near your workplace, what with Manila’s now-infamous traffic situation. But you can make your Makati property profitable by renting it out. It’s a source of passive income that doesn’t require much effort on your part.
- Pag-IBIG and SSS
If you’re not good at saving money on your own, contributing to Pag-IBIG Fund and SSS is a great remedy. Pag-IBIG Fund contributions provide you with affordable financing options for when you want to buy a house. Meanwhile, in exchange for your monthly SSS Personal Equity and Savings Option contributions, you’ll receive a monthly pension or lump sum when you retire.
Both of these investments are backed by the Philippine government, so you’re guaranteed to reap the benefits of your savings. What’s more, both are easy to avail of. With the proper requirements, you can go to their branches or enroll online.
There are two types of bonds you can invest in: Treasury bonds, which are issued by the government, and corporate bonds issued by the corporations. Basically, you lend money to these entities and they’re required to pay the principal and interest back.
Major investments, such as in the stocks, can be daunting when you’re young. That’s why as a beginner, low-risk investment channels like bonds are ideal. Unlike stocks, you’re sure to yield a profit when you invest in bonds. It’s also a better choice than putting your money in a savings account because bonds have higher interest rates, meaning they bring higher returns.
- Mutual Funds
Filipinos are naturally risk-averse. So, what better way to invest your money than in something managed by experts? A mutual fund allows you and other investors to pool your money. This is then used by experienced fund managers to buy stocks and other assets from established and stable companies. This way, you can invest in stocks, which have a high ROI, without the stress or need for financial market expertise.
- Life Insurance
Back in 2010, only 15.4 million Filipinos were covered by life insurance. In 2017, this number went up to 48 million, showing that Filipinos are becoming more financially literate. Life is unpredictable, so there’s no better time to invest in insurance than while you’re still young.
Something that you should consider is a Variable Universal Life Insurance or VUL, which affords you a life insurance policy and an investment, all in one. This enables you to financially protect your dependents in case something bad happens to you. Its liquidity lets you access your funds after a specific number of years, which is helpful during financial emergencies.
- Small Business
Do you have a talent or a hobby that produces something other people might enjoy? Maybe you like to cook or you’re a good artist. Maybe you love online shopping and you bought a lot of stuff that is collecting dust in your closet. Whatever you’re good at, you can turn it into a small business.
The best thing about starting a small business is that you don’t need a huge capital or even a business degree. You can start small, grow your clientele, and then expand your business. The thought of being your own boss sure doesn’t hurt either.
- Invest in Yourself
Your own improvement is one of the best assets to invest in. You’re always learning and there’s always room for growth, so if you can, purchase or do things that will make you better.
Try to learn new skills by taking online courses—these give you more career options. Go to the gym to stay active and healthy. Travel to learn more about other cultures. All these things can help you grow as a person and molding a better you is an investment that’s rewarding for life.
Although there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to money management, it pays to be smart about your investments from an early age. This way, you can secure the comfortable future you want and deserve.