Saturday, August 22, 2009

Aging Parents & Bleak Retirement Days

We filipinos are family oriented. Most of the time, even if we are already married, we still choose to stay in our parent's custody.

Maybe out of respect to them or because of the dependency we have from them or vice versa. In western countries, if a child reaches the right age, he/she has a choice to leave his parent's custody and strike out on his own.

In our country, this practice is often times deemed "modern". While a child can leave his/her parent's custody once she/he strikes out on his own, there are still times that we ask for their help financially or the other way around.

Investment for the education is quite expensive, most of the parents expect their kids to "return the favor" to them after the kid has finished studying.

The sacrifices they endure to send us to universities is really admirable. Most of the time, they choose to prioritize our welfare instead of thinking for their retirement.

Thus, majority of them are presented with the worries of how they would faced their sunset days once their kids got married. With nothing left for them after decades of working hard for their kid's sake.

Resentment and Bitterness always accompany them whenever this worries for their retirement days manifest.

Although it is acceptable not to help them once we have a family of our own, we still have to think of the consequences. Karmic effect, if I may say.

They've done everything to give us good education and provide a good life for us - which some of them didn't experience in the first place from their own parents.

They say that once you become a parent, only then you will understand what your parents has gone through for you.

So, if we believe in the "mirrorring effect" of the universe, we should do our best to thank our parents for what they did for us. And even if they are not asking for it, we should be sensitive enough to offer help to them as a form of "debt of gratitude".

In this way, we are also serving as a good example to our kids (once we have our own) for them to emulate when time comes that we are on our own "sunset days".

Planning ahead of time, living a frugal life and prioritizing needs over wants would greatly help us achieve the kind of retirement we dream of.

Living a frugal life, teaches us to want and love what we already have and gives us a lesson to make do with the little that we have. It also teaches us to value our resources well.

By prioritizing needs over wants, we slowly learn how to fight the temptation of splurging on things that we don't really need.

Planning ahead of time ensures that we won't be having the hard life our parents had endure for us. Although nothing really prepares us for the unexpected; it will still served as a good "cushion" for us if ever we accidentally "bump" into the unknown.

This also lessens the burden of having to deal with a bleak retirement days.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Being passionate about the things that we do is important. It gives us the drive or "kick" that we need to turn our dreams into reality.

I have been through a lot of frustrations in my life. When I was younger, I used to be so passionate about the things that I do. That's why people around me would always say that I am artistic and creative.

Somewhere along my growing up years, I learned the harsh truth that life is not always full of roses. If it is, I would always find myself hurt by the torns after enjoying the roses.

In my search to fulfill my ambitions and dreams, I learned to lessen my expectations and to be realistic. My Idealism has slowly deserted me after practicality has been the name of my game.

Recently, my older sister has subscribed to Avon Direct Selling. What cause here to enter this world of marketing? her lack of money - this drives her to pursue selling products through her sisters - us.

Before, she would just be contented with her earnings from her job and save the rest of their (my brother in law included) money in savings. As circumstances beyond her control (they need to support the college education of her husband's younger brother) would occur, this made her decide to try her luck in direct selling. I must say that she is a good salesman - she can sell products everytime a new brochure of avon arrives.

Her passion to earn from another form of income separated from her job made her pursue direct selling. Ah...passion, what really is passion? It is the kick or drive that pushes us to turn dreams into reality. To work hard despite of numerous obstacles to have our ambitions materialize.

The other day, I was watching Go Negosyo hosted by Gladys Reyes - Sommeareaux; before she ended the program, she advised the televiewers to identify their passion and pursue the things they were passionate about.

I then wonder if she was passionate about skin care maintenance; as she is like Lucy Torres Gomez - flawless. Gladys now owns KSA Magic Soap that is distributed to some drug stores, malls and Beauty & Wellness boutiques.

As I wonder about this thought, I admired her and ask myself what am I really passionate about. Nothing particular came into my mind. Except my wishful thinking that hubby and I would spend each days together and that he no longer needed to work abroad just for the two of us.

I then asked myself how would I be able to turn this wish into reality (except of course by the help of some fairy godmother) and an answer came into my mind:

Try Enterprising - selling products to your colleagues and friends. But then, that would mean I would compete with my sister (whom I am helping to sell her products) and my other colleagues who are already selling their items to our officemates. Besides, I have observed that their sales (from the products) inside the office is really not that good because most of our colleagues are frugal.

then I heard from one of my best pal (who now lives in the province) that apart from having her two owned tricycles operated, managing her small store with animal feeds, she is also into baking! I was suprised, glad and a little envious (at least I'm not hypocrite) of her achievement.

I was wowed by her new feat; she told me that it was hard to earn money but it was so easy to spent it. How she needed to be like what she is today because she's sending her two kids to school. Mind you, her husband is also an OFW, and he earns a lot compared to my husband...because he is already an officer. This friend of mine is a stay at home mom which gives her a lot of opportunities to explore things she would later learn she is so good at - Enterprising.

Somehow, I wish that I was like her. My husband earns only enough for us. We are supporting his father with his monthly allowance. And my family still needs my help to pay some of their utility bills - even if I already have my own to pay with.

Then, I asked myself and God if there is still a way for me to pursue my dreams - to turn them into reality. The answer was BE PASSIONATE.

Slowly, I learned that striking at every opportunity that you meet is not always the answer but rather by carefully analyzing if accepting that challenge or opportunity that knocks on your door would made you a step closer to your goal.

Sometimes, we were driven by greed, envy and jealousy that what we see in our neighbours - we also wanted to achieve.

As I journey through this life, I learned that our destiny is shaped by how we react towards that things that happen everyday, how we value what we believe in and how we fight and work hard to make our dreams come true.

I just hope that as soon as I can, I would be able to pursue my passion (regardless of all the obstacles and hardships that I'm facing - which only spiced up my life anyway) and turn it into reality. That way, I would be able to glorify GOD for properly using the talents that he gave me.