The pandemic highlighted the importance of money management and health, which is why financial advisors have one of the most important careers today. For others, though, it’s more than just a career. It’s their purpose.
Eight of FWD Life Insurance’s financial advisors share their purpose inspired by their own personal experiences. The events that happened in their lives made them realize that they can be instrumental in providing real-life solutions to customers who face challenges involving their family, marriage, health, career and personal fulfillment. They believe that if they can change the way people feel about insurance, they believe that they can inspire others to celebrate living with the people they love.
TO TAKE COURAGE IN RAISING YOUR FAMILY ON YOUR OWN
Sheila Nunag struggled emotionally and mentally when she lost her husband due to dilated cardiomyopathy. It was unexpected and made life difficult for her since her husband was her rock for 18 years. With his passing, she suddenly found herself raising their kids on her own.
Instead of breaking apart, she gathered herself to turn this heartbreaking experience into something positive. She raised the kids on her own with the investment that she and her late husband made through insurance. This is what she shares to her clients as a financial advisor: that every family’s goals for their children can still materialize despite the loss of a loved one, as long as they realize the value of protection and investment early on. “Yung nangyari sa akin, yun yung gusto kong ipaintindi sa lahat ng tao,” Sheila says.
“Lahat ng pangarap na yon, ako na lang ang tutupad. Your pain will be your testimony, e ‘di ba? Na I was able to survive that. That was me who did that,” Sheila says firmly, referring to her husband’s dream of taking their kids to various places around the world someday.
TO HAVE EVERY FILIPINO CHILD GROW UP WITH THEIR PARENTS BESIDE THEM
Chicoy Estiñoso grew up without his OFW mom beside him, so he knows how it is to have a loved one live away from you just so you could be financially secure. Spending birthdays and other special occasions with only his dad became his “normal” childhood.
It has become typical and generational, Chicoy believes, for Filipino families to bear the pain of working among strangers in unfamiliar territory just so they can earn more money. It doesn’t always have to be this way, he says, especially for those who have young children in the family. "Yun yung gusto ko for every child not to experience being left alone, of being left in the Philippines,” Chicoy rues. “Yung scene sa airport na nag-iiyakan yung pamilya, totoo talaga ‘yon. It’s the most difficult thing to experience for a child.”
This is why as a financial advisor, he made it his personal mission to help other OFWs make their income work for them through proper financial planning so they can come home sooner. “If we start to grow where we are, kumbaga second option na lang yung pag-a-abroad,” Chicoy closes. The family that plans together, indeed, stays together.
TO LIVE FREE
Russ Juson struggled with insecurities growing up. He felt rejected, unloved, and lonely because of his physical appearance. His depression became the baggage that he projected to others around him. When he was old enough to make decisions for himself, he sought help through several kinds of intervention.
Out of these interventions, he found his calling in life coaching. “It allowed me to create a new awareness. I took the biggest leap, left my full-time job which was my identity for 15 years, and went for something that I truly love and enjoy instead,” Russ shares.
This newfound self-worth has also been helping him as a financial advisor to teach others the rewards of financial freedom so they can live on their own terms. He feels that he is transforming lives and leading them to focus more on what matters and what they want to achieve.
“Can you imagine a world where everyone is just happy and excited, moving towards retirement simply because we’re able to help them plan around it. We crafted financial freedom for them because of the work that we do,” Russ proudly affirms.
TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY
Some people will really do anything for love, even if it means giving up a highly lucrative job. In Raymond Ilagan’s case, he was well paid as a fitness coach in Singapore. The downside was that he needed to work 15 hours a day, every day. It became so stressful that it took its toll on his physical and mental health. Fortunately, Raymond was wise enough to invest his hard-earned money in property and insurance plans. It was around that time when he fell in love with his then financial advisor, who is now his wife and mother to his beautiful children.
He knew he was taking a significant risk when he left Singapore and started from scratch in the Philippines as a financial advisor himself. “If you’re not going to take the risk, walang mangyayari. Ang mindset ko dati, it’s either I earn or I learn,” Raymond vows. And both earn and learn he did, with the bonus of having more time to spend with his young family.
It’s from this stress-free life that he found the purpose to help others plan their finances wisely so they too can give more priority to the people they care about the most. “I’m blessed to be a blessing to other people,” he presumes.
TO MAKE MARRIAGE WORK DESPITE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES
Marriage is not perfect for all couples, but Bonet Madayag and her late husband Milky made a conscious effort to make theirs work. Instead of going for a separation, they decided to honor the sanctity of their marriage and found common ground that reignited their love for one another. They have become even sweeter to each other during their trips abroad that people who do not know them thought they were newlyweds.
They succeeded, and this inspired them to encourage other couples to fight for their own relationships. One of the top three struggles in marriage, according to Bonet, is financial worries so she uses her work as a financial advisor to help her clients figure out their own financial obligations, make their money grow, and perhaps even save a troubled marriage.
Even though Milky has passed away, Bonet shares that she believed they were at the best stage of their relationship because they built a stable family foundation despite challenges. Her only regret is that Milky won’t be able to see their kids graduate from school, and that they won’t be able to celebrate their silver anniversary. Today, Bonet takes comfort in the fact that she is helping other couples and their families enjoy financial protection. “Financial security is very, very important sa couples, sa families. Without security, maraming away. Mas nae-enjoy niyo yung life to the fullest when you are financially stable and secure,” Bonet affirms.
TO RISE ABOVE MISERY
Typhoon Yolanda opened the eyes of many to the realities of life’s uncertainties. Marlon Lopez may not have been there when it happened, but his heart felt the pain that his fellow Taclobanons went through. “Kahit wala ako nung Yolanda, parang naramdaman ko yung pinagdaanan nung lugar. This place will take a while before siya maka-recover,” Marlon infers.
It was different for Sherem Lumeran who was one of the survivors. It gave her one of the most bitter lessons in life, saying, ‘I realized na in just one flick of a finger, everything will just perish.” Together, Marlon and Sherem found their purpose as financial advisors to help fellow Taclobanons get back on their feet through financial planning and life protection. By educating Yolanda survivors about insurance, they believe they can help prepare them against life’s unexpected events that may hit them in the future such as critical illness, disability, or loss of life.
Marlon and Sherem find it rewarding that more than having the survivors rise above the misery they went through, they are confident that they have helped their community in securing their future.
TO SHARE THE MINDSET OF GROWTH
Growing up in a big family, Bonnie Gonzalez has always had the mindset of a leader. At a young age, she already knew the magnitude of her responsibility as the eldest of eight children. She strived hard and vowed to help her parents send her siblings to school once she was capable.
And so right after high school, she became a working student – studying by day and working by night. By the time she was already working as a financial advisor, she and one of her sisters were able to fulfill their parents’ dream of having their own house.
“To provide something for my parents was fulfilling,” Bonnie shares. It’s this same passion to provide that Bonnie is sharing with her growing team of financial advisors. “For me, it’s just a continuation of my vision when I was young, about my family. We’re here to serve not only the client, but also the people around us. Whenever we see them and you see them grow with you, not only financially but having that growth mindset, you feel good.”
Find out how you can be part of FWD’s financial advisors here, or make a financial appointment with them to learn about FWD’s products here. You, too, might just find the purpose you have been seeking.