New-found Wealth Shock

New-found Wealth Shock

Have you ever heard of the term “New-found wealth shock”?

You may be thinking what rubbish highfalutin term am I talking about.

But “New-found wealth shock” is a true & valid term that is an epidemic that plagues mostly migrant workers or more popularly referred to as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in the Philippines.

Most migrant workers decide to work overseas based on the offer letter which states the compensation they will receive plus any other relocation package, if any, to cover the relocation expenses.

Yes, the amount with $$$ or Euro sign registered in their head which also made the decision-making go faster or prompted the individual to accept the job offer.

Then the migrant worker starts work overseas and reality sets in – long work hours, being a second class citizen who constantly needs to prove himself why a foreigner was hired instead of a local, distance from family and friends, adapting to different language, culture, work ethic, and the list goes on…

But, now receiving the first actual pay in his bank account or first pay slip he suddenly get shocked, happy, overwhelmed, thinking how to spend it (especially, if he doesn’t know the proper money management or didn’t set goals, objectives and timelines before leaving his home country).

Now, he is receiving 2x or 3x or maybe as high as 5x versus his monthly salary back home.

If you are the migrant worker, how will you answer the following questions?

  • So, now what do you do with your first pay or even succeeding salary that is way, way higher versus your previous salary?
  • Will your lifestyle dramatically change with the dramatic increase of your income?
  • Or will you practice delayed gratification and prioritize your goals and preparing for retirement?

There is no right or wrong answer because that is your money anyway, that is your life anyway.

But my only suggestion to you is reflect intently and dig deeply into your mind and heart and ponder on this question:

Why did you leave the Philippines or home country to become a migrant worker?

If you find the answer to this and you are honest to yourself, highly likely, you will have the answer on how to handle the “New-found wealth shock” syndrome.

But, I encourage you to spend some or a bit from your first salary on yourself.  Why?  It’s to celebrate small wins. Encourage you to work harder, focusing on your goal.

For now, I leave you with some burning questions that can help you as you do some reflection:

  • Why did you leave your home country to work overseas?
  • Before migrating, did you have clear goals defined together as a family?
  • Prior to leaving your home country, did you have clear timelines on how long you will work overseas and is this aligned with your family?
  • Are your family involved in the decision-making process or where they just informed after you have decided or signed the job offer?

I’d be happy to know your story. Please share with me your why, your reason, your story 🙂

Till the next blog 🙂

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