How to Prepare For Life’s Most Important Events

COVID-19 has certainly changed life as we know it.

Without the threat of the deadly coronavirus, we would have been happily planning and attending celebrations for various life events - baptisms, birthdays, and weddings, just to name a few. Filipinos are known for their happy disposition and strong sense of family and camaraderie, which is why it is unsurprising that we always find different reasons and ways to gather and celebrate.

Sadly, COVID-19 has put a temporary pause to our much-loved gatherings. With cases rising daily, and unemployment rates breaching the 7.3 million mark in the Philippines, there hardly seems to be any reason for celebration. While that may be true, at least for now, life goes on - sooner or later, we will find the means, and the inclination, to rejoice and live it up once again.

As such, it is important that we already start preparing for these life events. Even if all we take are baby steps on these preliminary plans, what matters is that we are clear on what we want, and are committed to making it happen.

Almost every person dreams of walking down the aisle, to exchange I do’s with their one true love and share a life with them until kingdom come.

Naturally, an engaged couple would want to prepare for their special day carefully and painstakingly, and make sure that this momentous occasion becomes as fun, heartwarming, and memorable as possible.

If, by chance, you are planning to get married soon, here are some basic considerations that you and your significant other should look into:

  • What kind of wedding celebration do you plan on having?
  • Will this be a civil ceremony or a church wedding?
  • How many guests do you plan on having?
  • How much do you intend to spend on the wedding celebration?
  • Do you already have a place to stay at after the wedding?

Now, there are two primary reasons why you, as a couple, should discuss these issues as honestly as possible. First, weddings are expensive. You would be surprised at how much a caterer charges for a wedding reception meal consisting of three viands; or how blue roses cost way more than white ones.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, you and your significant other should be aligned on how you wish for your day to go, especially on your working budget. Do both of you want a big and bold wedding celebration with hundreds of guests, or do you prefer a simpler, more intimate gathering with your nearest and dearest? More importantly, do you have enough savings to cover all your wedding-related expenses?

It may seem trivial now that you read about it but a lot of soon-to-wed couples get into serious arguments while planning for their wedding, especially where money is concerned. And believe us, it is never a good idea to start your married life in debilitating debt.

The earlier you decide on what you want, the sooner you can start preparing for your wedding day - physically, emotionally, and yes, financially.

A bank savings account is one of the most conventional and convenient ways to store your savings. However, if you plan to have a grand celebration, or perhaps start saving up for a new home, you need a product that will provide you with the opportunity to grow your money’s earning potential.

You can consider investing in a single-pay, unit-linked life insurance product, such as the Allianz PNB Maximal Power policy. More than providing you with superior lifetime insurance coverage, the Allianz PNB Maximal Power policy also allows you to invest in expertly managed funds that have a good track record of delivering profitable results.

Find out more about the Allianz PNB Life Maximal Power policy here.

After nine months of waiting and anticipation, parents are naturally excited to welcome their flesh and blood into the world. But before that, however, there is one other thing that they have to contend with: childbirth.

Childbirth has always been expensive, and is a major life event that all parents prepare for diligently. The cost of a normal delivery began at PHP 50,000, pre-COVID-19. Nowadays, a normal birth can set parents back as much as PHP 100,000, while an emergency caesarean birth can go as high as PHP 250,000. These price increases are partly due to the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) for the healthcare workers attending to the mother and child, as well as the strict sanitation measures being enforced in all hospitals and medical facilities.

While parenthood is something that couples look forward to, being in this position, especially during this period of uncertainty, can also be stressful, especially for those who are financially unprepared. If there is one thing that this pandemic has taught us, it is to expect the unexpected, and that we should prepare the umbrella, even before it rains.

We cannot stress enough the importance of having an emergency fund, as this can help us survive even the most trying of circumstances. Ideally, you should build an emergency fund that has an equivalent of three to six months of your monthly living expenses.

Aside from allocating a portion of your monthly salary to your savings and emergency funds, you can consider investing in a unit-linked insurance product, otherwise known as a Variable Universal Life (VUL) policy, such as Allianz PNB Life’s Optimal Power policy.

One of the special features of a VUL plan is its liquidity. Policyholders are given the option to withdraw the investment component of the plan, either partially or in full, to be used to address their personal needs. Moreover, withdrawals from a VUL plan are free of tax and interest rates, which means that you truly get your money’s worth.

Find out more about the Allianz PNB Life Optimal Power policy here.

A renowned American polymath described education perfectly when he said,

Raising and educating a child is a significant - and costly - life event that every parent or soon-to-be parent should get ready for. In the Philippines, tuition fees in a private elementary school usually start at PHP 70,000, and this figure goes up by at least 10% every year. For a child to complete elementary and secondary levels in a private school, parents would have to shell out anywhere between PHP 1 to 2 million, and that may or may not even include miscellaneous fees.

Unfortunately, with COVID-19 robbing a large number of parents of their livelihood, there are a lot of children that will not be going back to school during the 2020-2021 academic year. There are also those that will be transferring to public schools, as there are parents that do not wish to spend too much on education delivered via digital modalities. Indeed, COVID-19 has dealt a serious blow not only to our economy and financial stability, but also to the country’s educational frameworks.

Any parent would do anything for their child, and take steps to provide a bright and secure future for them through the provision of quality education. And while we cannot predict or prevent a similar pandemic from coming into existence in the future, we can make sure that we have the right financial tools to be able to prepare for them adequately.

Allianz PNB Life offers an Achievers endowment fund, a 5-pay, 2-in-1 comprehensive education and protection plan. Aside from providing your child with life insurance coverage until s/he is 21 years of age, the Achievers endowment fund offers an educational fund that increases per year once s/he reaches the age of 17. On top of all these, your child is eligible for a graduation bonus that will be equivalent to 20% of the total annual basic premium of the policy plus dividends.

Find out more about the Allianz PNB Life Achievers policy here.

While it may be a touchy subject to discuss, death is inevitable, and is something that we eventually have to come to terms with and prepare for.

Apart from the pain and sadness that it brings, death also comes along with staggering expenses, ranging from hospital bills to interment and burial costs - more so if your loved one passed from COVID-19.

According to Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the remains of people that died to COVID-19-related must be cremated within 12 hours of their death. In the Philippines, the average cost for basic cremation is PHP 60,000.00, which includes the process, as well as the casket and urn.

These types of expenses can be anticipated by way of a sound life insurance policy, such as the Allianz PNB Life Premier Life insurance policy. Aside from providing insurance coverage that spans until the age 100, the Allianz PNB Life Premier Life insurance policy allows policyholders to build guaranteed cash values and earn dividends that they may use anytime during their lifetime.

More importantly, the Allianz PNB Life Premier Life insurance policy provides death benefits from Php 350,000 for 10-year pay and Php 500,000 for regular pay, which the policyholder’s beneficiaries can use to pay for their expenses or invest in their future.

The purpose of our lives is to be happy, or so the Dalai Lama says. Cliché that it is, we should always try to live each day to the fullest, even in the face of this pandemic. We can control our happiness, in the same way that we can prepare for and invest in our future to make it as secure and fulfilling as it can be.