Money Never Loves You Back
Question: How do I effectively manage my money when I am so busy with my work schedule? Some of my friends who work the night shift are also asking the same thing as they need to be sleeping when the Philippine financial markets are open. —asked at “Ask a friend, ask Efren” free service available at www.personalfinance.ph and Facebook.
Answer: There is an interesting article on CNN titled “The centenarians dominating one region of Sardinia.” The article talks about how people in a certain region of Sardinia reach and live beyond the age of 100. The CNN article points to data showing that the gender ratios in most Western countries is 1-to-4 in favor of women while it is an amazing 1-to-1 in the central region of Sardinia.
Sardinia is an island known to have low income and endemic disease. But the fact that people in central Sardinia are living up to the age of 100 shows that the traditional barriers to long life can be overcome.
The article says that in central Sardinia, it is unusual for old people to be placed in institutions. Rather, old people are looked upon as a community resource for transmitting values and local knowledge. Given this respect, relatives and neighbors take care of the elderly and keep the contact between the young and old alive. But it doesn’t stop at the home. Fetes and sporting events provide an opportunity for the elderly to participate. Socializing in the village square after lunch is also not unusual. Old people do not feel alone. On the contrary, they feel important and needed. In the process, old people maintain a sharp mind. In central Sardinia, many of the old people do not take much medication, are very lucid, read without glasses and continue doing what they had been doing most of their lives.
I have an aunt who could have very well been from central Sardinia. She ran a small drugstore in our hometown in Quezon. Yet, even if she was already pushing 90 years old, she would still take the bus over more than 130 kilometers from our hometown to Divisoria just to buy her drugstore’s supply of medicines. And then there’s the commute back.
So, what does living to be a centenarian have to do with money? A lot!
If you focus on money, you are just focusing on one thing, greed. You treat money as your one true companion. The unfortunate thing is that it is not a two-way street as money will never love you back. Unlike the people from central Sardinia and my aunt, you will not benefit from socializing with other people. On the contrary, you will be isolated.
What is a practical solution then to managing money if you shouldn’t focus on it too much and you need to attend to your own job or business? Just let the professionals manage your money for you. For even the professionals treat money management as just an eight-hour job and continue living life after office hours.
Who knows, you may yet live to be a centenarian.
Efren Ll. Cruz is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. He is a best selling book author of Pwede Na! (A Complete Guide to Personal Finance) in 2004, and is the chairman and president of the Personal Finance Advisers Philippines Corporation.
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