Lessons from COVID-19, and how to move FWD

If there’s one thing I realized during this “Year of the Lockdown,” is that it always pays to be ready.

Ready to make sacrifices, ready to understand, ready for adjustments, ready to change, and most importantly ready to move FWD.  

As most industries, except for sectors like telco, logistics and on-demand deliveries, the COVID-19 pandemic has almost wiped out nearly entire businesses.

Happy Asian family using tablet, laptop for playing game watching movies, relaxing at home for lifestyle concept

Its effect cannot be denied- with many resorting to retrenchment and imposing pay cuts to avoid closing shop and declaring bankruptcy.

To survive, many have used their savings to put up small businesses and go online. From baked treats to ready-to-eat dishes, and selling fashionable face masks and face shields, the list is endless for the Filipino- who has proven, yet again, how their resilience and positive spirit can carry them through the worst (and best) of times. 

And until we find a vaccine our future remains uncertain. But we can always take steps to prepare today so we can worry less tomorrow.

COVID-19 has affected our lives in different ways but the lessons we learned from it are essentially the same.

1. Health is indeed wealth: Our health is our best asset—both physically and financially. Pandemic or not, protecting your health always comes first. And having good health and being in shape give you more energy to work hard for your family while pursuing your passions. Staying healthy saves you a lot of money too. After all, getting sick is not cheap. You have to pay for medicines, treatment, and confinement. Costs for COVID-19 treatment can reach millions, and so do other critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack, renal failure, or stroke. 

But if you do get sick (and often these illnesses will just strike without warning), there are ways to make sure you are financially prepared. Protection plans like FWD Insurance’s Set for Health ensure that you have the money you need to pay for any medical bills. It allows you to claim up to three times against major critical illnesses—and if you remain healthy by 75 years old, you’ll get your money back. 

 2. Good habits are important: For years, we’ve been told to wash our hands properly. But we never really took it that seriously. Until this year. Now, it’s one of the best lines of defense against COVID-19. With most of us being called back to work or allowed to go outside, handwashing or sanitizing our hands are even more important. Let’s not forget to regularly disinfect and clean our homes either.  Other precautionary measures we learned recently leaving our shoes outside, showering and changing into new clothes immediately, and storing dirty laundry in disposable bags. 

3. The importance of a rainy-day fund: When I was young my mom always told me to save for a “rainy day” Well, figuratively, this might be the longest rainy season we’ve had It’s a good idea to have a rainy-day fund to cover expenses in case of emergencies.  This is all the more relevant today during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the saying goes: hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  Financial planning is important, especially if you’re the breadwinner. Life insurance plans like FWD’s Set for Tomorrow make sure that your family has the financial means to go on, protecting them from unpaid loans and sudden income loss due to death. OFWs who work abroad get additional protection, too.

4. The importance of “diskarte” Now is the time to be street smart. You simply can’t rely on what your professors taught you back in college. This is the time to be sensible and make hay with what you’ve got. You can start by decluttering and selling the stuff that has gathered dust in the closet. You can also make do with what you have in the fridge and toss them together to make a great dish. You can also start spending more time outside and doing things that don’t require you to spend extra for electricity and wi-fi like gardening. 

5. It pays to be prepared The pandemic has showed many of us how extremely dependent we are on our paychecks and daily earnings. With no work or income for more than a month, a lot of us have struggled to make both ends meet. And this will continue with businesses laying off workers and instituting a “no work, no pay” policy. 

That’s why it’s important to be financially prepared and have a financial safety net so you can get through any emergency. It’s not too late to start securing your financial future today. Save. Invest. Protect. VUL plans like FWD’s Set for Life allows exactly that. You get both insurance and investment and pay for it monthly. You get to grow your money and, at the same time, secure your future – and your family’s.

COVID-19 is a call for preparedness for everyone. The pandemic took us by surprise, but we learned some valuable lessons. Now that we know better, we can prepare better—physically, mentally, and financially. 

FWD Insurance is one of the few insurance companies that are digitally ready to help you financially prepare for the future. Its financial advisors are available to talk to you about your finances and help you with your financial goals via video chat or whatever channel is more convenient for you. 

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