IN a learning session on financial literacy conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas–Economic and Financial Learning Office (BSP-EFLO) in Northern Mindanao last year so that people may understand and appreciate the value of financial health, Atty. Clarence Joseph Zosa said financial planning is for financial health.
“If we need to take care of our physical health so we don’t get sick, we also need to take care of our financial health. Because if you plan your finances wisely, you will know where your money will go and how much you will spend. So, there will be no overspending,” he said.
He also emphasized the value of saving so that they are prepared for any eventualities in life or unexpected events like calamities brought about by natural disasters, sickness, accidents, health epidemics such as Covid-19, and more importantly, death.
In this regard, people can also invest in financial instruments that would allow them to prepare for any of life’s many consequences, particularly for health and other future needs. One such instrument is through pre-need plans.
The need to prepare
PRE-need plans that are offered by pre-need companies are meant to address specific financial needs such as coming up with a retirement fund, educational plans to get a child’s education needs on track, cash benefits upon an individual’s death, mortuary needs, fund to cover hospitalization expenses, and many more.
Based on Insurance Commission data, the number of pre-need plans sold during the first six months of 2023 amounted to 419,044, or a 27.66-percent spike from the same period in 2022. This may mean that many more Filipinos are becoming more aware of the need to invest and save for future needs.
However, the majority, or about 99.89 percent, of the pre-need plans sold during the first six years of 2023 were memorial plans, 429 were pension plans and education plans with 10.
FOR Ronald Bautista, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of pre-need solutions provider PhilPlans, his advice to Filipinos is to be healthy and remain healthy for it will reap greater dividends for them.
“It’s already a cliché that ‘health is wealth.’ But we also need to remember that by being and keeping ourselves healthy, it will mean more benefits to us,” Bautista said the during the recent launch of its new slogan for this year, “Tomorrow Starts Today,” an enhancement of the company’s previous mantra “Think Ahead” that has served the brand for many years, which also invites the public to act for a better tomorrow without delay.
The launch also served as the venue where PhilPlans announced aggressive marketing efforts ahead of its celebration of its 35th anniversary on April 19, 2024, among which are the launch of a customer portal on the second quarter of this year for better real-time plan management, convenience in providing updates, and achieve a level of control to meet the demands of today’s digital-savvy consumer.
BAUTISTA also said that part of the company’s initiatives is to generate more awareness about the importance of pre-need planning or more importantly, preparing for the future especially health concerns, and not to treat investing in pre-need plans as nothing but an expense.
“We need to emphasize that the community should be aware of the beauty and the wisdom of savings especially for the rainy days like in terms of our health and well-being. This was highlighted during the time of Covid-19, which served as an eye-opener where more people became aware that they will have to have money in the future in times that they may lose their jobs or become ill. There remains the possibility that you can lose your job, be hospitalized, and yet you have no HMO to cover expenses, and that’s a scary fact,” Bautista explained.
He added that the beauty about PhilPlans’ products, especially the pension plans, is that they are flexible and serves as funding mechanisms for anything that people will need in the future, particularly those already at age 65 and up where their health situation may become vulnerable. “With our plans being flexible, people can save money that they can use for any expenses for any emergency situation in the future as long as they are able to complete payments for five years.”
Availment of benefits
THIS was particularly true during the time of Covid-19 where many people were hospitalized but fortunately, the PhilPlans planholders were able to get money to pay for their hospitalization expenses through their pension plans since many do not have health maintenance organization (HMO) packages.
Bautista also reaffirmed the company’s commitment in helping Filipinos secure a better tomorrow, especially for the modern generation of Filipinos through digitalization, proactive planning, and “stepping into a future where tomorrow starts immediately.”
“We don’t just sell pre-need plans. We also serve as partners in the planning for a secure and peaceful tomorrow. Our digital transformation, product innovation, and brand evolution are all fueled by this core purpose. We are excited to embark on this journey with our clients, hand-in-hand, as we build a future where tomorrow starts today,” Bautista concluded.