aaron2

Is Your Filipina Ready?

NEW articles daily! Subscribe below to receive daily updates with our new articles!

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

The chances are much higher than 50/50 that a Filipina spouse will outlive her non-Filipino husband. First, men die younger than women. Second, Filipina wives are often significantly younger than their non-Filipino husbands. How well prepared are these future widows for the financial decisions they will someday be facing?

The reason I’m writing about this topic is that in recent years, two U.S. Filipina wives I know became widows, and both had little education about economics or money management. (To be fair, one of the deceased husbands also lacked knowledge.) One of the widows reached out to me for guidance and the other widow relied on a relative of the deceased husband for advice.

Get Relocation Consulting and Coaching from Live in the Philippines

The widow I assisted was left a respectable amount of savings, already invested in a mutual fund. I told her that since she didn’t need the money at this time, to simply leave it invested. The trouble was she had never followed the stock market before, and worried when she saw her balance go down during one bad month. She panicked and moved her money out of the stock market despite my council, “Your husband would keep the money in stocks.” This happened about 4 years ago. If you know anything about the stock market, you know that it has been fantastic the last 4 years. A lack of economic wisdom has cost this Filipina widow a great deal of money.

The other widow that did not seek my advice, ended up depositing a large amount of savings in a start up fund (possibly an annuity) which she doesn’t fully understand. She invested because she trusted the person giving the advice. It may turn out ok, but I suspect it was a mistake. A good adviser, whether they be a relative, friend, or paid professional, would make sure that the investor fully understands everything about a recommendation. After the fact, she asked my opinion. Since she couldn’t clearly explain what she had already done, I couldn’t offer any advice.

My Filipina wife will likely live longer than me. She has little understanding of United States finances beyond managing a checking or savings account. Terms like “adjusted gross income” or “S&P / DOW / NASDAX” mean nothing to her. She has always let me do our taxes and investments. In other words, like our two widowed friends, she would be financially vulnerable if I die. My immediate plan to deal with this problem is to never die. Let’s call that “Plan A”. I really like this plan.

If “Plan A” doesn’t work out, there is “Plan B”. Plan B involves my wife becoming educated enough (while I’m still around) to make wise financial choices. I don’t have a lot of hope for Plan B as my wife seems content being uninformed and relying upon me as long as possible.

Finally, I have “Plan C”, which is the most realistic plan. This would mean that one of my siblings would advise my wife on financial matters if my breathing permanently stops. They will likely choose conservative, low risk options for my wife. I’m comfortable with this plan as I have 100% trust in my siblings.

I’m guessing a lot of husbands reading this may be in a similar situation. I take comfort in the fact that my wife could live comfortably in the Philippines on my future U.S. government social security. She started off life very poor, so even if social security was her only income, it should suffice.

So what’s your plan? Is your Filipina ready when you are 6 feet underground or dust? Maybe you simply don’t care since it’s really their problem, not yours. Maybe you (like many others) are afraid of the subject and are comfortable only having “Plan A”. Good luck with that.

Posted in

Steve Walker

Steve has been married for 25 years to a Filipina from Cebu. They lived in the Chicago area until recently, when they moved to Cebu. He worked as a computer programmer analyst and retired 3 years ago at age 57. They have a home that is located close to the famous whale shark tourist attraction and have 3 dogs.

Most Shared Posts

26
Leave a Reply

avatar
14 Comment threads
12 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
15 Comment authors
rainrider9JayPaul ThompsondaveBrent Johnson Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
John Skibo
Guest
John Skibo

My asawa always hate it when I start the money conversations with, “Well when I die….” She usually goes running for something to knock on 🙂 She’s been pretty good so far with money and I got her involved in investing. Nothing too difficult to start, she’s just using Betterment at this point. She puts away about 70% of what she makes and enjoys watching it grow. I also got her several credit cards when she came to the US to help build up her score and she manages those well after a few early issues (only paying minimum and… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hi John. It looks like you have thought thru the best strategy regarding yours and your wife’s multiple pensions. In the U.S, we have flexibility regarding when we choose to take our government monthly social security. I thought about writing on this topic, however I decided against it as this site has many non U.S. readers. I will however mention that when the a husband is significantly older than the wife, the best strategy appears to be for the husband to delay social security until age 70, as that will provide the max payments to the wife upon his death,… Read more »

John Skibo
Guest
John Skibo

Steve, Yes I agree with you on the Social Security. Our plan right now is to retire to Palawan at some point and I’m hoping that the Pensions / 401Ks / Savings will provide more than enough that I can delay filing for Social Security for quite awhile. I do hope that I can get her to finish her degree so she would also have that to fall back on whether she chooses to move back to the US or remain in the Philippines at some point down the road. She is understanding investing a lot more now. I remember… Read more »

Rudi Thomas
Guest
Rudi Thomas

I married a Filippina in 2005 and I’m an American. Before we got married, she told me that she was never annulled and that her husband died. When I started working on her Visa for the United States and she was interviewed, they refused her a Visa because her husband was never died. Now her husband is actually dead and was verified from PSA. My question now the I really love her and now I think the only way to get her here with me is to remarry and resubmit another Visa and submit new correct death Certificate.

Luke Tynan
Guest
Luke Tynan

Steve, Wonderful heads up. And yes this forecast is something that I have foreseen in our future. But for me I really like your Plan A. Not so much for Plan C for me. (I have no brothers or sisters and if I did I would not trust them). Plan B has also been in place and over the 10 years she is learning..And the big thing is she is good with money.. Thank you good read.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Glad you liked the article. Hopefully, you will be around a lot longer while your wife continues to learn. My wife is also good with money….spending it I mean (lol).

don
Guest
don

Good post. We have had so many of our friends die who have young families. The age gap is usually guy 60+ and wife/gf in 30s. They typically have no money and we do a fundraising just to cover the funeral expenses. Once that is done, wife and kids are penniless and go back to the province. Mentality of some is that they were poor before and will be able to just go back to how it was.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hi Don. I agree. The mentality of some is that they were poor before and will be able to just go back to how it was.

Mark Kuivenhoven
Guest
Mark Kuivenhoven

I have plan A+ my wife
Has a college degree in business.
Lots of Filipina with college education

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hi Mark. It sounds like your wife will be prepared, or better prepared than most. An education is great, however I have found that it doesn’t focus on providing basic investment knowledge. For example, a course in Economics will teach all about the laws of supply and demand, but it doesn’t teach how well different types of investments have done over time relative to inflation. I do think an advanced education will however make it easier for someone to comprehend and evaluate new information.

joop
Guest
joop

That is what most couples would plan for: I go first, you get everything easy and in your own name. But what if she goes first and you have to deal with inheriting the property that you put in her name? What are all the requirements that have to be fulfilled? A nightmare? Have you dealt with cases like that?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Our Philippine house and land is in my wife’s name. If she pre-deceased me, I doubt I would want to live in the house and would basically abandon it and leave it to her sister. I’m not qualified to give advice regarding legal rights of foreign husbands. I’d rather give no advice than incorrect advice.

Paul Thompson
Guest
Paul Thompson

Steve:
We can’t own a house, but our name (Foreigner) cane be on the house. The American who lived up the street, he was able to sell the house that he and his wife built, while her family cried and moaned about it. I don’t know the law, but I know that happened.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Excellent post! Lot’s of things to consider if Plan A fails. 🙂

Sean
Guest
Sean

I have no idea how banks work in The Philippines……

But

It would seem to make sense to set up some type of trust fund in this situation.

I’m pretty sure you can even set it up where a certain amount is released monthly/yearly or in whatever time increments make the most sense in your particular situation.

Steve
Guest
Steve

That actually sounds like a sensible suggestion Sean. For some it might be the best plan.

don
Guest
don

Yes you can set up a trust fund, but who would you trust to be the trustee? A family member or a bank, who can change the beneficiary. So easy to get anything notarized. I dont really trust the legal system.

Rick Levy
Guest

My wife and I are just the average American husband-Filipina spouse couple residing in the Phils. We met at work in the U.S. and have been married 47 years and neither has had a previous marriage. She is 4 years older than I am. As for education, I don’t have a college degree. My wife has 3: a BE (local),BA (U.S) in education and and an MA (U.S.) in psychology. Due to legal issues that have arisen regarding her family property, she has taken it on herself to learn the ins and outs of the dispute including land survey matters.… Read more »

Brent Johnson
Guest
Brent Johnson

If my wife can manage to get her 40 quarters (10 years) of paying into the social security system done so that she’ll get her share, instead of survivor’s share, she should be alright. Social security supplemented by 401K and Edward Jones accounts should keep her comfortable in the Philippines if she is financially wise. Unfortunately, turning her disinterest into wisdom will be my main job before I pass.

Steve
Guest
Steve

Sounds similar to my situation Brent. Good luck to us both.

SIGN UP TO JOIN OUR GIVEAWAYS & INFO NEWSLETTER

Make sure you've signed up to our newsletter to get exclusive newsletter only content! Also be updated about all our important events and other important info that our readers rely on.

SIGNUP FORM


Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.