As a married couple, my parents modeled very positive behavior for me and my siblings. Many of the life lessons I learned from them was through observing and living our family dynamics. Our household was free of drama and emotions since my parents hardly discussed anything that evoked deep affection. But it is through this that I learned how to navigate my own marriage and #forever.

I watched how my parents supported each other despite their differing interests. I learned that it is possible to find a warm and quiet love, one that is nurturing and true. To find your forever, I learned that you don’t have to be a duplicate of the other. Rather, find someone that shares your core values, someone you can call a trusted partner.

But not everything in life is rosy. My parents are still together in old age but they have very little to retire on. This is a worrying plight for their generation. Thirty years ago, they probably had fewer opportunities and limited information on how to prepare for their golden years. Admittedly, they were scared to put their money in retirement funds for fear of being scammed. I listened to them talk about these over dinner and family reunions.

As an uninformed teen, I used to share their belief too. But as I grew up and watched our family tighten the household belt, I wanted to build a life of comfort in retirement. It may be a little late for my parents but if I took charge of my own retirement plans, then maybe I could even help them achieve theirs. Given the wealth of resources nowadays, it has become possible to build a more secure future starting with small investments and some understanding of how money works.

The truth is many of our retirees have little or no pension, compelling them to continue working for their daily needs. But there is hope. My generation is gifted with so much information about financial literacy as well as tools that are built to help us avoid the missteps our folks made. To name one of these means, the Internet is a vast free tool that we use to research but you also have to be mindful to choose credible sources like legitimate insurance and investment websites. Researching lets us be informed of the options that we have to grow our money – our favorite of which is investing in mutual funds.

In the hierarchy of our fixed expenses, investments come third to basic needs and utilities and mortgages, this mindset has allowed us to dedicate a portion of our discretionary cash flow to our retirement fund and still be able to afford ourselves some fun.

I believe in #forever because of the lucky few who found their lifetime partner, whether they are ordinary people just like my parents or larger-than-life personalities. No companionship can be faultless, and it is truly inspiring when couples choose to persevere in those times that it can get difficult, just as how it is in this "GREATEST LOVE" video. My husband and I have a long way to go in our marriage, but we hope to spend our retirement in comfort together through investing for our shared future.

Cary Yamut Cary Yamut

Samantha Emnacen-Sio

Samantha works as a digital marketing manager for a local retail giant. She spends much of her spare time decorating cakes and playing Lego bricks with her family.