Design your future now—not tomorrow—but how?

Whether you’re a thriving exec, a self-employed creative entrep, or would-be retiree, this is how to invest, given the multi options

Author’s family in the crowd spending New Year’s Eve 2020 at Senso-ji Temple in Asakusa: You can create your future of choices.

My son, who’s in his 30s and holds a managerial position, comes to me after checking his blood pressure, which he now does daily (in the office or at home). The BP reading fluctuates, and he blames “mortgage stress” for it, on top of daily job pressures. Since he’s gainfully employed, he decided to invest in a city condo and a suburban lot, and I encouraged him. Buying assets such as real estate never hurts. Or—does it?

After one has signed on the dotted line, one, in this case my son, realizes that “positive debts”—his generation’s way of investing in the future—could trigger stress. So sometimes he and his friends wonder if they have overextended themselves.

That is the downside. The upside is that many of this generation are woke enough to know that they must invest in their future now. Actually—they create their own future now, today, not any other day!

Perhaps this is because they have learned their lesson from the previous generations who usually thought they were immortal and thus neither planned nor faced realities, such as illness or death. Estate planning seemed unheard of where post-war generation was concerned. My son witnessed how my mother, his lola, at 89, fell into a coma she never woke up from. While her death left us in unspeakable grief, it also left unfinished business, an estate that entailed a messy paper chase. This was because, like the matriarchs of her generation, she felt like she was still in her 40s—at 89—and thus never yielded control to anyone else in the family.

That was her generation. In contrast, today’s generations have life goals, and among them is planning. They know that it’s never too early, and one is never too young, to save for or plan the future.

This is where AIA Philippines is coming from as it introduces the AIA A+ Signature.

“It’s never too late to start creating the future you want. Even better if you start early. With AIA A+ Signature, you can enjoy guaranteed financial benefits as early as possible so you can begin planning your desired future earlier, too,” says Tennyson Paras, head of products at AIA Philippines.

If I had disposable cash for investment with my family’s future in mind, why would one put it in this plan, instead of, say, in an art work or land or condo?

Paras explains, “The beauty of this product is its guaranteed benefits. In comparison to buying an artwork/land/condo, where the value appreciation is not guaranteed, having an AIA A+ Signature balances out your investments because of its guarantees. There’s a guaranteed cash pay-out given to the plan’s owner at the end of the fifth or sixth year of the plan (depending on your chosen pay variant) based on the face amount, and will continue as long as you’re alive up to age 100. Your loved ones will also receive 200 percent of your face amount as a death benefit in case the unexpected happens. Should you remain healthy and reach age 100, you will receive 200 percent of your insurance coverage as your maturity benefit.”

Condo vs insurance—this reminds me of what a friend advised me: Don’t buy a condo at a very early age, to live or invest, because you don’t know where your life will lead you. And even if you do, you will be burdened with rentals, association dues, and so on.

AIA A+ Signature is packed with additional benefits on top of the guaranteed ones. Paras points out,  “This product also has non-guaranteed dividends which will be provided yearly (if any), determined by AIA based on the company’s performance and earnings. And for those who want more peace of mind, there’s an option to increase protection coverage with optional riders for accident and disability.”

This is also as good a time for would-be retirees to plan. Paras notes, “Since retirees no longer have regular income, AIA A+ Signature can be an additional income stream for them to sustain or achieve the lifestyle they want to enjoy in their retirement years. Getting this plan while you still have a regular source of income makes the premium payment easier.”

That’s on one hand. On the other hand, since creative entrepreneurs are a burgeoning part of the young population—self-employed, not held down by corporate affiliations— the AIA A+ Signature serves a purpose—accumulated interest.

Paras explains, “AIA A+ Signature is a perfect product for self-employed individuals since they don’t have the benefit of a company helping them with their retirement plan. One feature of the product is that you can leave the 10% guaranteed cash payout to AIA to accumulate at interest. They can withdraw it any time they need it and can serve as emergency funds, or just leave it there and withdraw it later at the age they want to retire.”

This insurance product helps you face the harsh reality of life—turning the disadvantage into an advantage, and giving you the means to create the future that you want.

‘We all want to look forward to a future where there’s enough left over to spend on non-essentials that make life more enjoyable…’

As you become financially independent, as you age and the responsibilities start coming in, you feel as if the money barely lines your pocket and goes straight to the monthly expenses. As your income increases, the expenses grow, sometimes even more than what you earn.

The AIA A+ Signature stresses: “We all want to look forward to a future where there’s enough left over to spend on non-essentials that make life more enjoyable. The secret is by achieving financial freedom. How? Here are four tips to help you create the future you want.

1. Make some changes in your current budget so you can set aside savings for the future.

Having enough budget to spare for the niceties of life comes at a price. If you want to be able to afford those, you need to have a delayed gratification mindset: Make sacrifices now to get what you want later. For most people, this means cutting one’s budget to the bare minimum, and with 20 percent of their earnings going into their savings. This also means wiping out debts, and taking on only ‘good debts’ like mortgage and car loans.

The AIA A+ Signature lets you create a worry-free future with guaranteed benefits and cash payouts equal to 10 percent of your plan’s face amount. With the flexible payment terms of paying for your policy within five, 10 or 20 years, you are assured of an option that lets you work it into your budget—money set aside for the future.

2. Determine your vision of what you want in the future.

How do you plan to live? Do you want to travel every year? Do you want your children to study overseas? Are you planning to retire when you hit 50? However you envision the future, it’s important to have a continuous income stream to augment either your savings or your present earnings.

AIA A+ Signature provides guaranteed cash payouts, where you can get 10 percent of the total amount of your coverage starting at the end of your fifth or sixth policy year (depending on the payment term selected), then every two years thereafter. If you’re an early retiree, having additional money on top of your retirement funds coming in regularly will help you sustain the lifestyle you’re used to and allow you to do all the other things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t afford!

3. Ensure that you are protected from life’s many risks.

Imagine how life would be for your family if you meet an untimely passing. If you are the breadwinner, the wisest move is to protect them from untoward life events as soon as you can. Nothing expresses your love more strongly than making sure that no matter what happens to you, your loved ones can continue to pursue their dreams.

Should you live a long and happy life, life insurance can also be another way to leave behind an inheritance for your loved ones. Either way, you will leave behind a legacy that can take care of your family.

With AIA A+ Signature, your beneficiaries will receive twice the amount of coverage of the plan. This means that if the coverage is for one million, the two million your loved ones will receive will go a long way to ensuring that their needs are cared for.

Do not put your eggs in one basket. Study the pros and cons and determine your risk appetite in investing

4. Invest early and often.

Time is always on your side when it comes to investment. If you start early and invest in the long term, you are in a better position to weather market volatility.

Do not put your eggs in one basket. Study the pros and cons and determine your risk appetite in investing. After ensuring you’re protected with life insurance, explore other ways to grow your money through variable unit link (VUL) products, bonds, equities, land, and other financial instruments.

If you’re on the lookout for a multipurpose insurance product that can give you additional gains, check out AIA A+ Signature. Aside from the guaranteed cash payouts, you can also have added savings from non-guaranteed dividends.”

Be in charge of the future you want for yourself and your loved ones. Life can always be better!

Want to know more about AIA A+ Signature? Click here for more information.

About author


After devoting more than 30 years to daily newspaper editing (as Lifestyle editor) and a decade to magazine publishing (as editorial director and general manager), she now wants to focus on writing—she hopes.

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