Financial security is the biggest reason for migration for most OFWs, and a book by a Thailand-based Filipino aims to guide them towards achieving this goal.
"OMG! OFW’s Money is Gone: Practical Tips on How to Be Wise with Your Hard-earned Money" by Jun Amparo seeks to prepare OFWs for unexpected emergencies and for retirement by giving them basic financial education.
"The OMG book presented a practical approach to savings and investments. It teaches about the common money mistakes that most OFWs have committed and how to avoid them," Amparo said in an email interview with GMA News Online.
OMG defines assets and liabilities, usual obstacles to savings, and different investment options for OFWs and their level of risk, including mutual funds, stock market, bonds, real estate, and Unit Investment Trust Fund (UITF).
The book also advises OFWs to invest in financial education so they can avoid falling into investment scams.
It also provides tips on how to prevent families from becoming too financially dependent on the OFW and how they can generate their own income through remittances.
"If your family members become too dependent on you financially, it will create financial problems in the long run. In fact, even if you send money, the truth is you are not really helping. The question then is when to help and when to stop," Amparo explained.
He stressed that in addition to these measures, OFWs must retain a chunk of their wages to create emergency and savings funds and obtain comprehensive insurance to protect themselves and their families from uncertainties.
"Rather than sending all the money to the Philippines, an OFW is advised to pay himself first or to save for his future," Amparo said.
"Learn to save for yourself and avoid over-remitting. You will not be a burden to your loved ones when you are financially stable when you retire."
Amparo works as a school counselor at an international school in Thailand where he and his family reside. He also runs "Richly Blessed Today," an OFW-oriented financial education blog. —KBK, GMA News