3 Types of security freelancers should ensure
It’s a likely topic to come up within your social circles: the friend, acquaintance, or colleague that eschewed the stability of the corporate world to forge his or her own less orthodox path. Given the dawn – and success - of job sectors that are less-structured and allow greater flexibility, there is a good chance that this friend, acquaintance, or colleague is yourself.
We’ve heard it over and over, millennials are a specie apart.
Low-cost airlines and the affordable accommodations have allowed our generation to see the world and become exposed to values apart from those we have grown up with. A successful career is increasingly less defined by paycheck and more by personal fulfillment. We marry late and have children even later.
Ironically in some ways, we are closer in circumstance to our parents than we think. Those baby boomers travel the globe. They go to the gym. They hang-out with their friends a number of times a week. Keeping with the spirit of rediscovered youth, many retirees join the freelance workforce via consultation stints. Post-career and post-children, they live life to its fullest with some even having 50th birthday débuts!
Where, then, lies the generation gap? We millennials live our lives and chase our dreams, not yet overly burdened with family obligations, at the beginning of our lives – we are the young carpe diem adventurers. The baby boomers chase unfinished dreams, no longer burdened with family obligations, when their children are grown – they are the finish line adventurers.
As valid as our own intentions are in following our own path, our trade-off is the absence of considerable securities earlier generations have enjoyed in their youth. Here are the big ones:
1. Job Security
For baby boomers, a job is for life. They stay the length of their professional career in one workplace or transfer only once - it often doesn't matter if they love their job or merely tolerate it. This loyalty is then rewarded by security of tenure upon regularization. In government especially, the plantilla ensures that the job is yours as long as you want it.
Millennials, on the other hand, come into a very different professional environment in which we are offered the choice of a less structured line of work. We have the flexibility of defining our own priorities, defining our own time, and selecting our own workplace - usually in a coffee shop. This is however paralleled by unpredictability and dependence on our capacity to consistently sell ourselves to potential clients.
The pressure of this and its consequent irregular income may very well lead to the same level of overwork and exhaustion as a formal work set-up - minus that safety net of a health insurance plan to pay for when said exhaustion leads to illness.
2. Financial Security
More than the assurance of a steady and assured source of income, working outside formal employment means exclusion from its provision of financial security channels to its employees. Most big companies and government offices provide mutual fund or provident fund arrangements that allow its workers to invest in considerable long-term savings, claimable upon retirement.
Finances aside, these programs also offer salary-deductible loans that come in handy for emergencies that people our age may require such as home loans, car loans, medications, as well as ensuring continued physical and mental health; a concern which has also grown in importance as a result of the fast-paced and output-oriented world we live in.
Beyond this is also the exclusion from cost-sharing with employers on legally-mandated long-term financial securities such as SSS and GSIS, which furnishes another long-term financial security post-retirement.
3. Health Security
The assurance of a steady income aside, the implications of a non-automatic availability of healthcare is probably the most obvious.
Most companies and government offices provide healthcare to all employees with a regular working status. At the very least, this covers check-ups and ward-level hospitalizations. For more generous employers, this is inclusive of surgical procedures for the employee’s dependents of a minor age. Normally, coverage also includes an Annual Physical Exam (APE), without taking away from the cost-splitting between the employer and employee on the legally-mandated Philhealth membership.
Outside of formal employment, the freelancer is left to his or her own devices, often drawing from personal savings in the event of illness from personal savings or, in the case of generous parents, from parental funds. In either case, this is a financial drain and a sacrifice.
Does this make one path better than the other? Not necessarily. Each path has its own pros and cons.
But these security concerns are very real, however, and the freelancer path admittedly has a more difficult go at it. The good news is that these securities are still accessible, albeit at one's own initiative.
Government memberships accept and encourage voluntary contributions and offer workers outside formal employment the choice between SSS and GSIS – other freelancers even encourage subscribing to both to maximize on the post-retirement benefits.
Apart from government channels, long-term financial investments ensure that some money is still saved during the rainy days. A little research will easily name reputable banks and insurance companies with prolonged payment schemes that would minimize the short-term financial burden in favor of long-term financial benefits.
The issue of health security, which is the largest potential financial drain, can be remedied by short-term investments that ensure protection against more costly health expenses in the future. Various health plans are readily available from reputable Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and clinic systems to individuals.
Additional expenses as they may be in the short term, looking into these securities affords a fair level of personal security favorable for the pursuit of workplace freedom, fulfillment, and adventure that many of our generation continue to enjoy.
Visit Maria Health today to get a free comprehensive insurance quote or a comparison of all available health plans from the top providers in the country.