Money and insurance

How to build your children’s future, according to dad of six and personal finance expert Edric Mendoza

Raising future-ready kids is not easy but having an insurance plan that also gives you investment opportunities and hospital benefits allows you to start on the right foot—with less worries and more confidence.

Educator, entrepreneur, and personal finance expert Edric Mendoza is an example of a father who thinks well in advance about his children’s future, and then plans for it. The former anchor of ANC’s On The Money and husband to writer and teacher Joy Mendoza, Edric is a role model for dads raising children—lots of children!

The couple has six kids—three boys and three girls—and all of them were and are homeschooled. “My eldest son just turned 20—and that's a big deal for us,” Edric says. “As I look back, I realize that I've made a number of wrong choices, to be honest, but among the many things I did right was to listen to a friend who talked about a college plan and I was able to invest in that even before we had our baby.”

His eldest son is now studying in the US—not a cheap undertaking for parents—but Edric says planning ahead has helped them finance his education. “I was able to cash in, which helped with the expenses. I love this quote that’s almost a cliché, but is so true: ‘An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.’ So I want to give some perspective to babyproofing our kids from a parenting standpoint.”

But first—kids or no kids?

One of the things couples must agree on before getting married is children. Do they want children now or later, or don’t they want children at all? Generations ago, the answer was always yes, of course—that’s what you got married for—to have children and start a family. It’s no longer a given these days.

In the 2022 National Demographic and Health Survey, Filipino women were asked whether they wanted more children and, if so, how long did they prefer to wait before the birth of the next child. About half (48.8%) of currently married women aged 15 to 49 years wanted no more children. Less than one percent (0.2%) of women wanted another child but have not decided when, and 8.1% were undecided about having more children.

“Filipino women aged 15 to 49 years declined from 2.7 children per woman in 2017 to 1.9 children per woman in 2022. Hence, the Philippines is already below the replacement fertility level of 2.1 children per woman.”

The survey interviewed 27,821 women from 30,372 households.

Start planning before they are born

Like Edric did, it’s best to prepare early—even before you get married if you’ve committed to a life together with your partner. He says he found FWD Life Insurance’s Babyproof investment-linked insurance to be very useful and innovative.

“I'm going to simplify what FWD offers: F is for fusion, W is worry less, and D is for diverse benefits.” He expounds that Babyproof is not just insurance, but an investment as well. It combines hospital benefits that help with medical expenses, so you get P1,000 to P2,500 a day if your child is in the hospital and 100% more if he or she is in the ICU.

“Babyproof makes it easier to get started in the investment world because it's already included in the plan.” Moreover, as the policy holder, if something untoward happens to the parent—like critical illness, disability or loss of life—that makes him incapable of paying, future payments are waived. It’s very reassuring for me as a dad and financial planner. It really allows us to worry less.”

“At the core of Babyproof is Manifest, which offers diverse bonuses. It gives you a startup bonus, investment protector bonus, premium extension bonus and even a guaranteed milestone increase. Basically, the longer you have your investment running, the more gains you get. The more time you have, the more you can see your money working harder for you. Babyproof doesn’t just protect your child, your investment helps you grow your money. I’m looking at Babyproof now for my youngest, who will be turning five this year.”

Make an appointment with an FWD financial advisor to know more how Babyproof can help you raise your children on a financially solid ground.

Building good character

Edric admits that, as a father, he worries about his kids, their academics, extracurriculars, exposure to the world and bullying. “There are so many things we think about and how to make them succeed in this life and in this world.”

He says it’s important for parents to teach their children good character. “Focus on developing good character. Identify critical character traits that are important to you and your family, and then focus on building those so that the rest of the things will have a strong foundation. One of the things we should teach our kids is obedience. It's so important for kids to learn the value of obedience. I've said this in many different parenting conversations: obedience brings blessings.”

He cautions against “child-centric parenting” or when parents revolve their whole lives around them. “There's nothing wrong with focusing on them when they're infants, when they need mom to provide the proper breastfeeding and all of those things, but as they grow the reality is we should not revolve our whole lives around them at the expense of other fundamental family relationships such as the marriage. It’s important that the marriage is nurtured and not neglected.”

“If there are other kids, the same holds true. Do not let the other kids feel that because there's a new baby in the family, suddenly they’re in second place. They need to feel as important to engage them. Let them feel like they're part of the journey of the baby. Because we don't want to have child-centric parenting, this also means we do not give in to all their whims. We need to learn to teach them to wait. Let them realize that we are their parents first and their friends second. They need to learn that we are the authority figures in their life.”

Edric loves what world-renowned child psychologist Dr. Gordon Northfield said: “When did your child first fall in love with you?”

“I think the highest compliment I will ever get from my kids is if they say, ‘The way you love me helps show how much God loves me.’ For me, that’s the most important thing because I've experienced His love in great ways that I do not deserve and if I can help them experience that, as early as possible, I will feel much more confident about their future.”