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That will mean much higher taxes, which I surely do not mind if we can get some services from the money paid.
AN official of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) yesterday said the agency is increasing the zonal valuation of lands in Cebu, which were last set 12 years ago, especially with the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law. BIR 13 Director Aynie Mandajoyon-Dizon said that in Talisay City, for example, the average increase may be 300 percent as it has been 20 years since land values there were last revised. “Talisay City is considered an agricultural area at P10 per square meter. Now, it has buildings that are commercial, industrial or institutional,” Dizon said.

Other areas will face varying rates of increase. She said the revised valuations will help the agency compensate for the lost revenue under the Train law or Republic Act 10963. “Personal income tax has tremendously decreased in terms of rates and the exemption is now P250,000. We are losing a lot of revenues from this. So, we have to find strategies and means to counteract the effect,” Dizon said.The increase in zonal values would help them collect more in one-time transactions like capital gains tax and documentary stamps. “The higher the values of the properties, the bigger the tax, especially that there is a real estate boom in the entire Province of Cebu,” Dizon said.
Read more HERE

The new fare is adding about p20 to our average trip, just letting you all know, still one of the many big bargains of living in Cebu, I am not aware of rates for other areas, that is why I list Cebu prices.
Living in Cebu City or on Cebu island / T.G.I. Friday's
« Last post by Lee2 on Today at 05:42:37 AM »
Nila and I had lunch yesterday with friends at the below restaurant, food was decent, atmosphere decent, ran into other friends there and we enjoyed the meal, only caveat is the prices are a little higher for places here, a cheeseburger and fries will set you back around p495, or just under $10, not the kind of place for people living on a budget but the kind a lot of expats and tourists seem to love, we eat there a time or two a month, usually when friends want to eat there. One gimmick they have for those who live here full time is a discount card that will get you 20% off, or 30% off on Monday's but the gimmick is that it cost p2,500, yup, around $50 for the card, I passed on buying the card, we do not eat there enough to make it worthwhile for us. 

T.G.I. Friday's
Casual chain restaurant with a festive vibe serving beer, cocktails & a wide menu of American fare.
Address: Ground level, The Terraces Ayala Center Cebu, 6000, Cebu City, Cebu
Hours: Opens 11AM
Phone: (032) 231 8443
Living in Cebu City or on Cebu island / Maya Restaurant in Crossroads Mall
« Last post by Lee2 on Today at 05:31:51 AM »
The wife and I went out last night with an expat couple that we know for years, they suggested we try the below place and I can honestly say it was a very nice experience, something like eating back home but much less expensive. We all had Mojitos which were two for one and a meal each and the bill came out to just under p2,000, so under $20 a couple which IMO is a great value, of course because of location and because we do not have a car or motorcycle here, we had to take a taxi there, so that added around p200 round trip since the trip there was in way too heavy bumper to bumper traffic, that part of living here I could definitely do without, yet the trip back was a pleasure. I still like not having to drive here as one of the big pluses to living here in Cebu City, even with the new higher taxi costs, IMO they still come out way less than what it would cost us to own a car here.
Maya Mexican Restaurant
Mexican Restaurant
Address: Crossroads Mall, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
Hours: Closed ⋅ Opens 5PM
Phone: (032) 238 9552
Expats here can get health insurance coverage for around $1,000 a year, if they do not have preexisting conditions, if they do, then those will not be covered, then when they turn 70 the coverage ends, I write this based on friends who have health insurance, so health insurance is something everyone should look into before moving here and to keep in mind.

I am always amazed how many expats we meet here who do not have health insurance and just say they pay as they go, those who are retired military and are from the U.S. seem to have it a lot better, another thing to keep in mind. One friend had a heart attack years ago, he told me it cost him p1.25 million, then had another issue the next year which basically broke his piggy bank and put him in debt, he now has to work here, to me that is not retirement, it is bad enough having to work back home where we make decent money, to work here is not something I would ever wish to do.
Too many people listen to the crap about how cheap it is to live here.

Agreed.  As all who have posted here seem to agree, overall costs are not all that cheap.  It think JoeLP has achieved an enviable position of being able to build up a savings account living in the Phils.  I doubt many can accomplish that.

When I lived in Quezon City in the 1990s, in a house I purchased, we still managed to go through about U.S. $7,000 per month.  Maybe more.  If I ever retire, I probably won't have much more than $6,000 a month coming in, so I won't go back to Metro Manila.  Or Cebu.  I know one guy renting a condo there paying P70,000 a month.  I have been there.  Not much of a place.  I could rent a nicer place in many U.S. cities for a lot less. 

For me, a real detractor to retiring to the Phils is healthcare.  Yes, it's relatively affordable now, but how long will that last?  The Phils is said to be a "developing economy" and is sometimes said to have a bright economic future.  If so, that will only mean that the handful of bargains there now will disappear.  That will probably include the end of low cost healthcare.  If I get there and any of my family needs serious medical treatment, it could run into big bucks. 

On the topic of healthcare, on the Yahoo homepage today was one of the endless writings by "experts" about retirement.  This one was about "4 costly mistakes".  The link below might work:

Here are a couple of excerpts:

1. Depending too heavily on Social Security

Countless Americans today are woefully behind on retirement savings, with one-third of folks 55 and over having less than $10,000 in their nest eggs. And while some of this boils down to poor money management, it's also a function of our collective overreliance on Social Security.

4. Underestimating the cost of healthcare

While several expenses do have the potential to go down in retirement, healthcare is the one cost that's likely to go up. …So how much might healthcare run you? The typical 65-year-old man today who lives an average lifespan will spend $189,687 on medical care in retirement. The typical 65-year-old woman, meanwhile, will spend $214,565. And in case you're wondering, the discrepancy lies in the fact that women tend to live longer. Keep in mind, however, that these numbers don't include the cost of long-term expenditures, like assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
I have seen dozens of publications like this.  Some speak of how Americans have pitiful retirement savings.  Others address the scary medical costs to be expected.  This article incorporated both.  A bit peculiar.  I do not see how the 2 passages quoted can stand side by side.  One says retirees are near broke.  In the next breath, we are told those (presumably) same retirees will come up with about 400 grand for medical expenses for a couple over 65.  The author writes: The typical 65-year-old man today who lives an average lifespan will spend $189,687 on medical care in retirement. One must assume that the "typical" types do not all have retirement savings of a magnitude that will allow an expense of $400,000 to go unnoticed.  It's perhaps my pea brain that does not permit me to see these two concepts juxtaposed as they are and reconciled. 
Amen to the above about Boracay. I was there in 1989 and enjoyed it a great deal. I went back again in 2016 and was very dissappointed. I had the same experience with a couple of places in the Andaman Sea too. I wouldn't bother going again. It's getting more and more difficult to find quiet AND beutiful places to retreat.
Expat life in Philippines / Re: Why?
« Last post by Hestecrefter on Today at 03:30:31 AM »
I assume you are talking about some of the melodramatics on this board since you appear to spend most of your time trying to keep up with it. 

I must confess to not having noticed any melodramatics hereabouts.  That could mean that I am an insensitive clod or that I am part of the problem, or both.  Not sure.  Or maybe I am not around enough to catch it all.

The comments about ornery foreigners I can agree with (yes, I know better than to end a sentence with a preposition, but I don't care.  I am too ornery to care).  Lee, BudM, and others have shown some insight.  JoeLP expressed deftly what I have observed. 

In another thread awhile back I commented thus:

I lament that the old Asawa Forum has lapsed into history lo these many years ago.  For awhile, the old posts were still available online.  No more.  There, one learned and experienced member once started a thread sub nom. "Marooned".  It was a sobering tale of those who have moved to the Phils expecting to live the high life at modest cost and found themselves after a few years with not even sufficient funds to buy a ticket back home.  I have witnessed a few marooned types in the Phils myself.  Pitiful.  To one such fellow I "loaned" USD550 to help him buy a ticket out.  He's now in his 60s, working as a pizza delivery driver when he can, in LA.  Don't end up like that.

I think I could agree with you,  but with the caveat that its not everyone.  There are plenty of nice folks.

I have received answers and suggestions to almost every question I have posted,  except one.  Some of the answers are wrong or I don't agree with them but that is to be expected.  I asked the opinion of a certain type of car for use in the Philippines and none commented.  Maybe others thought it a stupid or even arrogant question.  Didn't bother me and wasn't important.

As one of the perhaps not-so-nice denizens of this board, I feel constrained to address that kvetch.  I suspect the answer lies, not in a perception of stupidity or arrogance, but in a dearth of any knowledge or experience to share.  I recall the post asking about the car, reproduced below:

Anyone have experience with or opinions on toyota hiace ?

I was thinking to buy a new one as a family car.

That was a very specific question, about a make of car I have seen on the road in the Phils.  Seeing one on the road is the sum total of my knowledge or experience.  So I did not post a reply.  My guess is that most here who read the post are in the same league.  In the Phils I have purchased new a Toyota Sportrunner, a Honda Civic and a Nissan Safari.  My first car purchase in the Phils was a used Nissan Sentra.  That experience led to to purchase only new cars after that.  So, although I have some experience with car ownership in the PI, I had nothing at all to offer on the topic of Toyota Hiace.

Although it does occur it is not as common for a family that does not have at least one member from the Philippines to move here. So cost alone is not enough of a reason but it can have an effect.  Think about it like an indexed fund.  With an indexed fund you will get a little bit of everything so that your cost is stable (maybe).  But if you have a more targeted focus then you might get larger swings in value/results depending on all sort of things that relate to the targeted focus.

When we compare the cost of living from the viewpoint of an index of everything it is likely really close.  Or is it ??  For example try adding a full time maid and driver in any US location to the budget and see how it adds up.

It is a process of determining what things in each location we will need or want,  and then compare the cost.  For me it will be about the same cost either place,  but the distribution of that spending will be on different things.  For example school vs massive property taxes.  In either case if we take all the exact same bundle of items and services and try to buy it in the other place it will be a much different cost.  The cost of a family sized home in the Philippines province city is/was much less than the same in Seattle.  However in a province city in the US I might get something similar for about the same initial capital.

I also believe that a person that is broke in one place will eventually be broke in any place.  There are many lottery winners that end up broke again after having a huge party.  Showing off is expensive in any location.

Another point is that the average (or is it mean..) income in the Philippines is about 25k peso,  and the same in the US is about 4-6k dollars per month.  With the exchange rates it works out to the US person having on average about 10 times more.  Other numbers can be found,  but the general theory is still sound.  In either place there are ppl that are above or below the averages.

If we want to live Exactly like we do in a western place (USA) and cost saving is the only reason to move,  IMHO don't do it.
I will say this, I am saving much more money in my bank account now than what I would have ever believed I would be saving at this point in my life.  Catarman is much, much less expensive than the capital area or even Bataan was.  As a diabetic I am safe here as there are multiple pharmacies that carry my needs.  The hospitals are adequate to take care of any issues I might have come across. 

Congrats.  That is a great situation to be in.

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