• Filipinos saving for health use diverse strategies

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    WITH concern for health a priority among Filipinos, majority of them are shifting from the traditional bank savings to investment tools that ensure better yields for their health needs in the future.

    This was the finding of Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment, when it noted that 54 percent of respondents who are active savers have adopted diversified strategies in saving for their health goals. These are bank deposits, life insurance, government-initiated retirement schemes, provident fund and savings schemes, and investment-linked policies, all of which have better yields than ordinary bank savings.

    The Filipinos’ value for health is underlined by the fact that the government healthcare program is inadequate to support a growing population.

    “The saying, ‘health is wealth’ rings true for Filipino consumers. The value that they put on health is clearly underlined by the fact that consumers tend to actively save now in order to fund their health care rather than later,” Stuart Jamieson, Nielsen Philippines managing director, said in an earlier interview.

    He said that Filipino consumers are not only saving the traditional way through banks but are taking a more diversified approach to better prepare for health expenses.

    Along with health, household emergencies are also on top of Filipinos’ list with 51 percent of respondents saying that they are preparing for the unexpected expenses at home by saving cash. These savers are also diversifying into saving plans, whole life insurance, company pension and government initiated scheme, provident fund, savings or investment scheme.

    Financial goals such as upgraded property purchase, first-and second-time property purchase, personal luxury, as well as financial legacy, new businesses, children’s futures, loss of job or income, higher education and milestones such as marriage, birth of a baby and retirement are pushed back for saving in the future, the survey showed.

    “There is a gap between respondents planning to save in the future versus active saving, suggesting an opportunity to better educate consumers on the saving and investment strategies that will help them achieve a more secure financial future,” said Jamieson.

    “Saving priorities, especially for the acquisition or upgrading of properties, also provide a picture of the aspirations for upward mobility of consumers,” he added.

    The Nielsen survey showed that 83 percent of respondents said that they believe they will achieve all their financial goals for the future, but only 30 percent of those said that they are confident that their present planning will be enough. About 53 percent said that they will have to closely monitor and adjust investments every now and then to best meet their financial expectations.

    The Nielsen Global Survey of Saving and Investment polled more than 30,000 Internet respondents between August 14 and September 6, 2013, in 60 countries to gauge consumer sentiment on saving strategies used to achieve financial goals, and how they are preparing for current and financial expenses.

    Nielsen evaluated 16 different saving and investment strategies used to fund 14 long- and short-term financial goals. The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum error of +/-0.6 percent. Nielsen used a minimum reporting standard of 60-percent Internet penetration, or 10 million people online for survey inclusion.

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