OFWs’ remittances are a major economic lifeline of the country. The Philippines is one of the top remittance-receiving countries in the world. Due to the pandemic, remittances are expected to decline according to the World Bank.
Even under normal conditions, many OFWs do not see working overseas as a lifelong job. Many plan to return back to the Philippines after having earned money for a good number of years and reunite with their family back home. In such a situation, having financial affairs in order will ensure a stable future post-retirement or after coming back home.
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have returned to the Philippines owing to job losses and uncertain economic conditions to be with their family members during the global health crisis.
Nonetheless, financial literacy is crucial if one has the desire to return home after working in a foreign country to earn money and attain a higher sense of financial security.
Top financial tips for OFWs returning home:
Having financial goals while working abroad will help you stay focus on your money management strategies and enjoy a comfortable homecoming.
It is typical for an OFW to send a generous sum of money to meet the financial needs of their family back home. However, being transparent about your long term financial goals and your own financial needs during your stay abroad is necessary for setting realistic expectations of how much financial help you can provide to those at the receiving end. This will also encourage them to use the money wisely and make financial decisions that are concurrent with the long term plans.
Listing down your priorities will avoid unnecessary expenses. Start allocating your money to different buckets (personal, family, investment, saving, education, and long term financial goals, etc.) with each paycheck.
Good money management habits include making a monthly budget, tracking your expenses, and living within your means. Managing your expenses with a limited budget will force you to lead a simpler lifestyle so that you don’t have to overstay working abroad.
Sending money online. Few factors to keep in mind while sending money internationally are; exchange rates, transfer fees, speed of transfer, and security.
Compare top money transfer companies side-by-side and select the one that offers you the best exchange rate and the lowest transfer fees to save on every money transfer for free on CompareRemit. As the saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned”. Compare. Send. Save.
Saving money is an important part of managing your finances. OFWs planning to retire in the Philippines should start saving for retirement as soon as they can. Allocating a decent amount of money to your long term saving accounts will lay a better foundation for a healthy financial life. Building a saving is to create an emergency fund for unexpected expenses or to fund for your children’s education or for investment purposes.
While opening a checking account is convenient for everyday transactions, you cannot earn interest. Putting your money in saving bank account with a good interest rate will generate income in the long run. Here are the top 5 savings accounts for OFWs
In order to maintain a steady cash flow even after returning home, invest in businesses, stock market, or real estate. The important thing is to generate passive income by putting your money to work.
In most cases, the net return of investment is higher than saving and it also protects your value of money from inflation.
Also, since there are risks involved with any new ventures, always be smart with your investments. Doing research beforehand will make a huge difference. You need to at least have an emergency saving for such undertakings. If you are looking for risk-free options, take a look at Government Investment Options for OFWs.
There are many advantages to using credit cards. From making big purchases to paying for everyday consumption, credit cards are very convenient. However, to avoid ending up in debt, it must be used in moderation and responsibly.
Always review your credit report and maintain a good credit score. Having large amounts of debts will hinder your ability to save money and planning for future financial goals.
A good financial habit is to use cash over credit as much as you can to avoid debts. Pay off your debts first and focus on saving money as soon as possible.
Check out our blog on Can an OFW Get a Credit Card?
Buying life insurance products that include saving plans will protect your money and also cover for unexpected events while you build your wealth. Invest in health insurance to cover for sudden hospitalization or unforeseen critical illness. This will protect you from high medical costs. Being an OFW, it is wise to invest in a good insurance plan with high network coverage for you and your family.
As part of your homecoming plan, your family members or relatives back home can start building a small business for which you can provide the money. So that once you return, you can help with the business and won’t have to look for employment immediately. Also, check out our blog on Can an OFW Apply for a Loan in the Philippines?
Readjusting to different cultures and lifestyles is a process. Even though it is a one you have lived before and a life that you were born in. Reverse culture shock is referred to the emotional and psychological distress suffered by people when they return home after a number of years overseas. And reverse culture shock is real.
It is important to set expectations right and not to ignore the challenges of adjusting to a new life. Keeping yourself financially prepared will shave off the extra burden to assimilate back seamlessly. Welcome home!