What were you doing with your life 10 years ago?
If you ask me, I was working as a writer for a small international school – a job that I loved even if it didn’t promise any opportunity for career advancement. Aside from my day job, I would perform as a lounge singer once a week at 5-star hotels. Singing was my passion. But as one of my relatives commented: “But singing isn’t a very stable profession!” I didn’t care. All I cared about was enjoying my life and living it to the fullest. After all, I was young, single, and freeeeee!
Fool-proofing my future was not something that I thought much about back then, let alone my future family’s future! I was in my twenties! I wasn’t thinking that far ahead! Then, I met Pia – a financial advisor from Sun Life – and let’s just say she gave me a reality check.
It was my friend from church who introduced me to Pia, who my friend referred to as her ‘financial advisor.’ Financial advisor? Sure. Didn’t she really mean ‘insurance agent’? We all know that insurance agents get a bad rep because they’re usually perceived as pushy sales-y people who only lure you into taking your money so they can get a nice, fat commission. But even with this knowledge and despite the fact that I knew that I was not ready to make any financial commitments at that time (I wasn’t exactly swimming in cash!), I agreed to meet up with her anyway.
Pia was easy to talk to – and surprisingly not pushy – and I found myself opening up to her about my financial situation. I told her that investing in insurance had crossed my mind but I never really dwelled on the idea. She then opened my eyes with one simple but thought-provoking question: “If something bad happens to you – if you get seriously ill or if you pass away – what will happen to your family?”
The thought of being a financial burden to my family was an alarming thought. I realized that anything can happen anytime, and I knew that I needed to be prepared. But… I had so many ‘buts.’ BUT if I do avail myself of insurance, what if I don’t finish paying it off? BUT what if I lose my job? BUT what if I have too many expenses that setting aside a portion of my income was too hard… or even impossible? Pia gave me the confidence that I could do it, and she presented different options that made paying for my premium more painless and more attainable. She also offered and customized a plan that was suitable to my budget, needs, and goals (the plan is called “Sun Flexi Link with CIB or ‘Critical Illness Benefit’”). I understood then why my friend called Pia her financial advisor and not her insurance agent… because she literally advised me on how to manage my finances. And just like that, I found myself saying, “Sign me up!”
I went home that night feeling good that I took the first step in safeguarding my future, as well as my family’s future, should I ever have my own. I also knew that I made the right decision since I knew that Sun Life is one of the largest and most reputable life insurance companies in the world, with millions of offices and clients in various continents, and a multitude of awards.
A lot has happened and changed since that day in 2010 when I decided to be insured. But one thing that has remained constant is how my financial advisor has been taking care of me and motivating me to reach my financial goals. Pia’s involvement in my life didn’t cease after she made a sale. Our relationship developed from a purely transactional one into a true friendship. When we weren’t discussing my policies, we would chat about everything under the sun. We used to have dinners together and discuss how God has spoken to us during prayer and quiet time, since we belonged to the same church and practiced the same religion. She was there for me in some of the darkest periods of my life, such as when I was facing uncertainties in my career and when I was grief-stricken because of a bad breakup. (P.S. I trusted Pia enough that I was able to convince said ex to get a Sun Life insurance from Pia. And I guess he trusted her too because a few years later, he ended up getting insurance for his son, too! Well, at least we agreed on one thing!)
Of course, being the true and caring friend that she is, Pia was also there during the good times. She has witnessed the major milestones in my life such as my marriage and pregnancy, and everything in between. She finds ways to be present in my life – whether that’s by greeting me on my birthday every year, delivering Sun Life calendars to me just in time for the new year, or supporting me in my career as a digital content creator by always liking my Instagram posts! (She gets plus points for that!) I mean, what kind of financial advisor would even take the time to ask their client how her pet guinea pig is doing?! (She even knows my guinea pig by name!)
I really believe that it is so vital to choose the right financial advisor. After all, you are entrusting not just your hard-earned money with this person, but more importantly, you are entrusting your future with him or her. This person needs to be someone who genuinely cares about you and puts your best interest at heart. He or she needs to be someone that you can be open and honest with. But of course, this person also has to be well-versed in her profession. Fortunately, Sun Life is known to have the best financial advisors. Their advisors undergo exhaustive training so that they are always up to date with new products, as well as the current trends and tools that will help their clients reach their financial milestones. My financial advisor certainly knows her stuff! When there are concepts that are unfamiliar to me, she explains them patiently until I understand them. When she doesn’t know the answer to my question, she promises that she will consult with her Sales Manager then get back to me, and she always keeps her promise. What I really appreciate about Pia is how approachable and accessible she is. She is literally just one message away, whether that’s via SMS or Facebook Messenger. I’d bug her at random times to ask her a random question, and if the answer to my question requires a lengthy explanation, she will find time to give me a call. There is really so much value in having a financial advisor, even for–and especially for –someone like me who has zero knowledge in financial planning. My financial advisor holds my hand throughout my journey; by doing everything from reminding me when my policies are due for payment so that I don’t miss my deadlines and risk having my policy lapse; to inviting me to Zoom webinars that will help me gain more insight into market forecasts and making good investments. She truly is more than just an insurance agent. She is my partner for life.
If you also want to find your partner for life, you can easily so do by visiting bit.ly/advisormatch and you’ll get matched up with a Sun Life advisor near you.
I am thankful that I said yes to Pia’s invitation to plan for a secure financial future all those years ago. My main motivation then was to protect myself and my future family from the financial impact of sickness or an inopportune demise. But now that I actually do have my own family, I have come to appreciate having insurance even more. I can rest easy at night knowing that I have done what I can to uplift the quality of my family’s life should anything ever happen to me. And with Sun Life there to help me achieve financial security, I know that I can live a brighter life.