How To Access Your Money From The Bank

My Filipina wife and I are not yet there full time, but will be soon. This is what we have pretty much decided:

My US pension funds will go in our US bank.

Advantages:

No fee accounts, FDIC insurance that covers the total amounts we'll have on deposit (remember the peso limits on PDIC) and convenience in writing a check/making an on-line bill pay transfer for bills we have to pay in the US.

We'll have both dollar and peso accounts at Philippine bank.

Advantages:

Ready access, Easy to pay Philippine bills with local checks or Philippine-issued credit cards and/or Philippine on line bill pay (see BPI as just one good choice).

Each month we will write a USD check from the US bank to cover a month's worth of Philippine living expenses and deposit in our Philippine dollar account. That check will clear in less than a month for no fee or little fee, much less that the US to Philippine bank wire transfer fees. For pesos, we'll withdraw dollars from the Philippine dollar account and change them where we get the best exchange rate. When caught short of pesos, we can transfer dollars from the dollar account to the peso account instantly, but need to pay a small penalty in the exchange rate.

I will not place all my pension (and later Social Security) deposits in a Philippine bank. Insufficient deposit insurance, no access to our money if we were to have to leave in a hurry government coup, natural disaster, etc. We will not lose sleep worrying about these things, but instead will make plans for flexibility and then sit back and enjoy what life brings.

Many people live this way, financially, many others have a different plan, and all are right as long as folks are doing what feels right to them.

Courtesy by: Dave Gribble