Story & photo by Rizal Raoul S. Reyes
PLANNING together on financial matters is beneficial because it enables dynamic discussion regarding the future of those composing a relationship.
This was emphasized by businessman Rene Ledesma Jr. during an insightful discussion about relationships organized by Pru Life UK at the Bonifacio Global City on November 10. Other panelists in the discussion were “relationship expert” Margaret Holmes celebrity talk show host and LGBT rights advocate Eugenio “Boy” Abunda.
“It is common sense for families to talk about money matters to make all things clear and transparent,” Ledesma pointed out.
For his part, Abunda said having a little sense of paranoia is acceptable, because this will give a couple a way to manage their resources in a prudent and judicious manner. In his talk, Abunda admitted that life was tough for him in his younger years because he came from a poor family. Although he is not guided and consumed by his past, Abunda said it is also important to revisit the past to serve as a guide in life.
“I am lucky that I have a partner who knows financial literacy,” Abunda said. “For young couples, it makes sense to develop a little paranoia.” Ledesma urged the audience to follow tips of financial planner and expert Rose Fres Fausto regarding family income.
“It is important to develop a regular cash flow or a business where you will receive regular income.”
Based on his situation, Ledesma said he has to have a cash flow because hosting jobs are not on a regular basis. Thus, Mercato Centrale, his business, was born.
Holmes pointed out that people in a relationship should be ready in case their partner goes away physically and spiritually. She said emotional and financial readiness would help a partner to withstand the blows of these sad events. Furthermore, she emphasized that money should not be the be-all and end-all of relationships.
“I think the legacy of the parents is more important,” Holmes said.
This is the second edition of the Pru Life UK Relationship Index (PRI). In the current study, the Philippines was once again ranked second in terms of personal relationship satisfaction among the nine markets surveyed in Asia, with a PRI score of 79 over 100, on a par with last year’s results. This means that relationships in the Philippines fulfill 79 percent of people’s needs and expectations, leaving only a 21-percent relationship gap. The study covered respondents belonging to the 25 to 35 age bracket.
Eight other countries were involved in the study—Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China, with Cambodia having the highest PRI score.
“We are delighted to release the second edition of the PRI findings for the Philippines. Helping our clients understand their relationships better is very important for us,” Pru Life UK Chief Marketing Officer Allan Tumbaga said in his opening remarks. “Research shows that better relationships directly translate to a greater sense of well-being and significant improvement in health and longevity. We are happy that the latest PRI once again shows Philippines to be in the upper tier of relationship satisfaction.”
What do Filipinos want from their partners?
Last year the study revealed that Filipinos expressed their love for each other more than anyone else in Asia. It was the same result this year indicating Filipinos are the most expressive in the region in communicating with their partners.
Out of the nine markets surveyed, they are the most likely to tell their partners they love them (86 percent) and to laugh together on a frequent basis (90 percent).
According to the study, couples who are more transparent with their partners tend to fare better on the PRI index compared to couples who withhold information from each other. People in relationships who tell their partner everything have a relationship score of 80/100, while those who claim they do not tell their partner everything score lower, at 68/100.
However, despite the high level of relationship fulfillment, the report said Filipinos still wouldn’t say their partners are perfect. If they could improve one thing about their partners, 38 percent say they want them to be more responsible partner, 34 percent say they would like them to be more attentive and 33 percent would prefer them to be more communicative.
Does planning together strengthen relationships?
The 2017 PRI findings show that most Filipino couples expect their personal finances to improve (89 percent) by 2022, when they plan their finances together, comparatively higher than for couples who plan separately (64 percent and 74 percent, respectively).
Even if they do not make financial plans together, the 2017 PRI shows that couples who are more transparent with each other about their finances do better on the relationship index. Filipino couples who make financial plans together have a partner relationship score of 81/100, 18 points higher than those who plan separately (63/100). Sixty-three percent of couples also agree that working with a financial agent will improve their relationship.
When planning their financial goals, 59 percent of the people in the Philippines would like to start a new business. Other financial goals include having enough money to travel with the family (49 percent), supporting the children’s education (45 percent) and saving enough for future retirement (42 percent).
On these findings, Tumbaga said, “The facts speak for themselves; couples who plan their finances together show much higher relationship scores with their partners than those who plan separately.”
Are Filipinos concerned about financial security?
Filipinos worry about whether they will have enough money for retirement and medical expenses (75 percent), the highest proportion across all markets surveyed. The majority of people expect to count on their own personal savings (87 percent) or continue working to support themselves (36 percent) in their old age. Only 32 percent expect their children to provide them with financial support.
Worrying about financial security also extends to concern for their loved ones. Almost half of the people in the Philippines (47 percent) have concerns about their family’s financial situation should anything ever happen to them.
What will relationships and family life look like in 2050?
Most people in the Philippines believe their relationships will show big improvements in the near future. Seventy-two percent say their love life will get better within five years—the highest proportion among the nine countries surveyed.
When asked to make predictions on the state of relationships by 2050, the PRI gathered that:
- Eighty percent of Filipinos believe that separation will be socially acceptable;
- Seventy-seven percent predict that over half of the couples living together will not be married;
- Seventy-four percent expect that over half of the children will be born to unmarried parents;
- Seventy percent believe that children will have a better future than they do now; and
- Sixty-five percent believe that same sex marriage will be legal in the Philippines.
“With the data presented in the 2017 PRI, Pru Life UK hopes to encourage more Filipinos to start real conversations that lead to relationships and a better understanding of financial planning,” Tumbaga said.”
Image credits: Rizal Raoul S. Reyes