Living In The Philippines Forum

It’s Your Money => Securing Your Family's Financial Future => Topic started by: beaches on January 12, 2014, 11:06:59 AM

Title: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: beaches on January 12, 2014, 11:06:59 AM
Have been seeking a loving Filipina to marry for over 10 years now.  Thought I met a special one but we never made the first personal connection necessary to have those special times shared to reflect on.  Am now going to marry my loving fiancée in Cebu, preferably within 6 months or less.

While I have looked up several important aspects for the move, I keep fluctuating between how much will be needed to make the transition smoothly.  I am very good in sales, am a freelance writer and have experience selling products online among other business attributes.

My fiancée owns her own home and is getting by working a couple of jobs currently.  Any perspectives about moving costs and timing  on getting started working  will be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on January 12, 2014, 12:50:19 PM
If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would just pack a light suit case with summer ware and a hand carry with a good expensive laptop, a good open line cellphone(with a sim card slot) readily usable here upon arriving, $10,000 cash in your pocket for starters, high limit credit cards, U.S. personal blank checks with a nest egg and emergency funds in your U.S. bank and just get on that plane headed for the Philippines to marry your sweetheart! When you get married, both of you can use the BB Program if you are uncertain of retiring here for the long haul or plan to take your spouse back to your home country so both of you can work for your future retirement if that be the case, but if you are semi-retiring here you better have a good source of income to live on, your monthly expenses will depend on the type of lifestyle you will be living!
JMO though, since your wife to be owns her own home, forget about shipping containers and or shipping hundreds of Balikbayan boxes here to the Philippines from the U.S., because you can just about buy anything here of good quality, but others on here may differ with my opinion and would rather ship everything from under the sun including the kitchen sink from their home country, which is IMHO just a big hassle and added expense of shipping and handling costs! We shipped about 20 balikbayan boxes over here to the Philippines before leaving the U.S.. Most of the stuff stayed in those boxes a few months to almost a year and stored in a spare room or big closet, before they were even opened, because our home was still under construction at the time!
We have been living here now for 16 years and we are pretty much "Happy Campers", because it's just the two of us living in our own home in an safe, clean and quiet gated subdivision far away from family and relatives! We enjoy (savor) our seclusion, privacy, peace and quiet!  8) ;)     
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: JoeLP on January 12, 2014, 03:51:41 PM
my move this last July was similar to what you are going into now.  I moved to Catarman and moved in with my fiance.  She had her own home behind her parents home in her name and all, lot also.  But, she decided to surprise me and start construction of our "new home" which actually meant part of her already home being torn down to make room for the now all cement finished product of the new home.  I love her, and thus she gets the "I love you and good job." response.  While inside I'm trying not to say "You just made all the things that YOU wanted in the upper levels of this new house a LOT harder to make happen." LOL  But, I stayed in the family home for a few months, and am now in the nearly finished 2nd level of the house that her and I call my own.  She still has a number of furniture from the small house that was brought over to this "new house".  So, here's my stab at the amount you'll need to save.

IF you intend to stay here, as I have, and live here full time with you beautiful pinay, it's more of a crapshoot.  The actual move here and living here will be cheaper, but, if you need to grab airfare back to the old country every month, then the prices actually become more than if you were to bring her to your old stomping grounds.  So you need to figure that out first.  But, to just live here, in her home, it is not bad.  We run about 4k in electric bills a month.  No a/c running for about 2 months now except a select few times when the afternoons were pretty hot and I was stuck home. 

Look at your net bills, electric bills, and cell phone bills to be your biggest costs if you are good with the pinoy diet and your fiance is good with shopping for products with lower costs but still are quality.  There is no water/sewer and such bills, all part of your electric bills.  You property taxes will be much less in the phils than where you are from now.  So even the things that we used to save for from our old countries are more or less "pocket change" to use foreigners than anything when they pop up.
Also, dependent on your health issues that you may or may not have, you need to take that part of your life into consideration.

Also take into consideration, that despite what you and her might have talked about over the net, you might not be 100% ready for her home.  This is NOT a knock on her telling you the truth or not.  It's more a matter of what she told you, in her experience and life was true, but compared to the homes you and I were raised in and lived in before the move is not accurate.  To her, her house may be very good and very livable, to you or I, it might be survivable.  So you might after arriving be thinking about the possible upgrading of her home.  Even if it is hollow block construction, trust me, does not mean it is anywhere near the construction of most homes in the US/UK/AUS etc.  When wet season hits, water can find it's way very easily through the blocks.  And it does not bother many locals.  So you'll need to make sure it's finished correctly on both sides, and is really "sealed" to make it more comfortable for us "westerners". 

Basically, all these items I hit are much less costly here in the Phils than they were back home, and by a large degree of separation.(I broke my arm and had it set here in August.  The cost, cash out of pocket, was less than what my copay would have been to my insurance back in the USA for example).  So, because you have a place to live, and no need to rent.  And a local to go shopping for you(let her go alone, trust me, and all the others on here, STAY HOME) your costs will be on the lower end of the spectrum.  You could live quit comfortable for $700(usd)/mo when it comes to bills, food, and fun money.  Then add to that any costs for home improvement, or a small savings account in case you get injured or something.  Getting around is also included in that cost.  Take the trikes/pedcabs/jeepneys as much as you can and the costs stay down, even when you are double charged because they think you are twice the size of the locals. 

If you want AC on all the time, the costs will go up.  If you need to fly to home country, add to the cost.  You get the picture.

Sorry, for the chaotic answer, didn't sleep last night.  Mind's tired. 
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: beaches on January 13, 2014, 01:31:37 AM
Want to thank everyone for their perspectives.  It's great to have a little help from your friends to approach a situation in a more clear manner by having those who have already experienced the same situation provide their viewpoints.  Am looking forward to becoming a member of this site who will be soon making replies to others for their best choices to take in various settings/situations they deem important at the time.
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: paulgee on January 13, 2014, 01:52:38 AM
Apart from the daily cost of living, which from what you say will not be too high in your circumstances, one thing not to forget is that you will need a nest egg for medical emergencies. All medical care has to be paid for, and if you have an accident or an illness you will need your own money to pay for treatment. No money, then no real treatment unfortunately.

Good luck, let us know how it goes

Paul
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: BingColin on January 13, 2014, 08:01:40 AM
Apart from the daily cost of living, which from what you say will not be too high in your circumstances, one thing not to forget is that you will need a nest egg for medical emergencies. All medical care has to be paid for, and if you have an accident or an illness you will need your own money to pay for treatment. No money, then no real treatment unfortunately.

Good luck, let us know how it goes

Paul

That nest egg is essential here, and it would be very easy to get through P0.5M for anything major so I would put that as a minimum. Others may not agree with me, but I keep mine in an easy access Joint savings account in the UK. Philippine banks have a low cover if they go bust and I don't believe they are as secure. Also you could be tempted to break into it for those nice extra goodies :D

We had to break into our savings to complete our house to a point where we could move in and save paying rent etc. My ultimate aim would be for P1M+ to feel comfortable.
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Oz Paul on January 14, 2014, 04:40:35 AM
Apart from the daily cost of living, which from what you say will not be too high in your circumstances, one thing not to forget is that you will need a nest egg for medical emergencies. All medical care has to be paid for, and if you have an accident or an illness you will need your own money to pay for treatment. No money, then no real treatment unfortunately.

Good luck, let us know how it goes

Paul

Re an accident.  Your fault or not, you will need a lump sum to pay off the other party, or face huge problems ! >:(

Contribute to Phil Health, it is worth it.  At least it will pay most of the Hospital bills.  The Doctors bills are not covered. 8)

If you are riding a bike here, or driving a car, it is only a matter of time before you have an accident, so I was told.  I was told right, I had an idiot hit me after riding here for 12 months. :o
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Gray Wolf on January 14, 2014, 05:36:57 AM
Beaches, you say you are pretty good at online sales, but didn't say how you receive the money from those sales.  Also, you may need to do a bit more research to determine if what you sell is legal in the Philippines.  Since you didn't give us much info, I'm just pitching out responses off the cuff.

JoeLP gave you some good advice concerning homes in the Philippines.  What is considered a good home to them, might be considered an unlivable hovel to some.  I built a fairly modern concrete home for my wife's family and just returned to the US after a 42 day visit.  Most days I couldn't stand to be inside for more than a few minutes without breaking into a heavy sweat.  As a result, I spent the majority of my time on the roof, shirtless, in our bahay kubo with a fan blowing directly on me, and still had to wipe the sweat from my brow and chest every few minutes. In order to sleep I had to take a cold shower first then sleep with no covers on me and a fan blowing on me all night, not the best way to exist.  This was all in a 3 story modern house I designed and had constructed to my specs.  Fortunately, I designed two larger bedrooms so that we had one available for us during our visit.  The other 3 bedrooms are barely larger than a large closet in the US, but what they are accustomed to and are happy to have.

Once you get married, you may want to look into a 13a visa, which is the Philippines equivalent of a US Green Card.  It will allow you live there permanently without having to renew your temporary visitor's visa every few months. 

Tell your bank in the US that you will be visiting and give them your date for leaving the country, otherwise your ATM card(s) could be blocked.  I assume your credit cards are issued by different companies, as most are, and you'll need to advise each one separately so that you experience no interruption of service.

I'm sure you will have more questions, you should, so keep asking and give us as much information as you feel comfortable with until you begin to grasp the details of what's necessary in order to live there either part time or full time.

Good luck!   :)

   
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Metz on January 31, 2014, 10:01:02 AM
It's always 10 thousand USD more than what you got in your pocket to live here. 

I have dumped hundreds of thousands into building a life here.  Still can be a struggle at times. 

Not too enthusiastic about the Filipino diet but oh well.  I don't eat much any more and have lost a lot of weight.

There's 5 classes of westerner that come here:

1 the rich retired pensioner who may or not be a DOM.

2 works for a multinational or outside of the country like a pilot.

3 someone who comes here and goes home broke.

4 someone who comes here starts a business and is wildly successful

5 someone who comes here and is moderately successful.



Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: BudM on January 31, 2014, 08:04:02 PM
It's always 10 thousand USD more than what you got in your pocket to live here. 

I have dumped hundreds of thousands into building a life here.  Still can be a struggle at times. 

Not too enthusiastic about the Filipino diet but oh well.  I don't eat much any more and have lost a lot of weight.

There's 5 classes of westerner that come here:

1 the rich retired pensioner who may or not be a DOM.

2 works for a multinational or outside of the country like a pilot.

3 someone who comes here and goes home broke.

4 someone who comes here starts a business and is wildly successful

5 someone who comes here and is moderately successful.

#4 is a businessman and #5 sounds like a businessman.  What about #3?  Is that a businessman or could that be one of us average guys who is not a businessman and do not fall in #1 or #2 but wind up broke?  If the latter, or either way for that matter, then what about the class of us average guys who come here, don't go broke and are just living and spending the rest of a peaceful life here?
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: paulgee on February 01, 2014, 12:18:00 AM
"  ........  then what about the class of us average guys who come here, don't go broke and are just living and spending the rest of a peaceful life here?"

These are the guys who have read the numerous threads in forums such as this and don't have such a culture shock when moving here Bud.
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: medic3500 on February 01, 2014, 12:43:23 PM
Bud, I am familiar with the term DOM but probably in a different meaning. In which manner are you using it?
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: BudM on February 01, 2014, 03:08:32 PM
Bud, I am familiar with the term DOM but probably in a different meaning. In which manner are you using it?

I am not the one who used it Dan but, I am thinking of it in the derogatory sense.  I did not know what it meant until I asked a couple of women about it.  Still, no matter if I was or wasn't, I still don't fall in to the rich pensioner class unless he wants to contribute a bunch of and enough money to my bank account to make me so.  I live in a nice, clean, quiet neighborhood in a nice house but it is not a 40 million peso place like so many of his neighbors and my neighbors are not the big shots like his is either.  For the first time in my life, I am living by a budget, since I am no longer the only counting on or helping spend my share of my money, to make sure I don't go broke and am not going to go out and get an outlandish place or live lavishly.

Some of these guys talk so much crap and talk down the Philippines so much that I don't know why they show so much interest in it.  The one that really cracks me up is the one about us just being in denial.  True it is a third world country and there are a lot of disadvantages and like Art said in another thread, there is always a list of disadvantages for elsewhere too.

The thing is, I am for once happy and willing to deal with disadvantages.  I am not going to try and guarantee that it is impossible for something to come up and change my mind but my intent is to finish my life here.

And for the naysayers bunch and I will throw the doomsday guy in there with them, another thing Art has said on occasion, that I totally agree with, is "to each his own".  And I'll say to some of you that if you don't like it that much, maybe you ought to just do as the saying goes and don't let the door hit you in the azz on the way out.
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: fred on February 01, 2014, 04:13:07 PM
Totally agree Bud!!
For some reason,our contentment pisses them off!!
Wonder why?
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Oz Paul on February 01, 2014, 04:15:48 PM
And I'll say to some of you that if you don't like it that much, maybe you ought to just do as the saying goes and don't let the door hit you in the azz on the way out.
[/quote]

ha ha ha ha ha. good one :D ;D
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on February 01, 2014, 04:17:25 PM
I keep on seeing or reading someone constantly referring to the Philippines as a "Third World Country"! As far as I know the Philippines is no longer on the "Third World Country" list.
Read for yourselves below and get familiar which countries are first, second, third and fourth world countries! I myself didn't know there were 4 classifications!
IMHO, if the Philippines was still a 3rd world country, there would not be any 1st world prices of anything here! The prices on everything here that I've experienced in the late 60s were really cheap and luckily my tiny military (E-2) pay back in those days went a long way and the dollar to the peso exchange rate was at P4.80 to 1.
Those were the good old days when I was only 18 yrs old! Cheap beer/food and lots and lots of young beautiful Filipinas! ??? :o ;)
 
http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm (http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm)
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Oz Paul on February 01, 2014, 05:25:56 PM
I keep on seeing or reading someone constantly referring to the Philippines as a "Third World Country"! As far as I know the Philippines is no longer on the "Third World Country" list.
Read for yourselves below and get familiar which countries are first, second, third and fourth world countries! I myself didn't know there were 4 classifications!
IMHO, if the Philippines was still a 3rd world country, there would not be any 1st world prices of anything here! The prices on everything here that I've experienced in the late 60s were really cheap and luckily my tiny military (E-2) pay back in those days went a long way and the dollar to the peso exchange rate was at P4.80 to 1.
Those were the good old days when I was only 18 yrs old! Cheap beer/food and lots and lots of young beautiful Filipinas! ??? :o ;)
 
[url]http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm[/url])


If it is not on the 3rd World list, it must be on the 4th World list now, perhaps ?  ;D 8)
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: fred on February 01, 2014, 08:31:00 PM
I keep on seeing or reading someone constantly referring to the Philippines as a "Third World Country"! As far as I know the Philippines is no longer on the "Third World Country" list.
Read for yourselves below and get familiar which countries are first, second, third and fourth world countries! I myself didn't know there were 4 classifications!
IMHO, if the Philippines was still a 3rd world country, there would not be any 1st world prices of anything here! The prices on everything here that I've experienced in the late 60s were really cheap and luckily my tiny military (E-2) pay back in those days went a long way and the dollar to the peso exchange rate was at P4.80 to 1.
Those were the good old days when I was only 18 yrs old! Cheap beer/food and lots and lots of young beautiful Filipinas! ??? :o ;)
 
[url]http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm[/url] ([url]http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/third_world_countries.htm[/url])


If it is not on the 3rd World list, it must be on the 4th World list now, perhaps ?  ;D 8)


(http://recruitloop.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/whinge-300x169.jpg)

Sorry.. I couldn`t resist!! he he
Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on February 01, 2014, 09:04:01 PM
If it is not on the 3rd World list, it must be on the 4th World list now, perhaps ?  ;D 8)

Sorry.. I couldn`t resist!! he he


Brilliant deduction! Something what a Forrest Gump might say! Couldn't resist either! Ha Ha! BTW, women say he he, men say ha ha! ;)
http://youtu.be/D_Komi7wnAw (http://youtu.be/D_Komi7wnAw)

Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: iamjames on February 02, 2014, 11:12:35 PM
OK - maybe time to get all this back on track. Ad rem even. The discussion started on the topic of how much money is required to live in The Philippines. That is like asking how deep is a hole. If you want to purchase modern imported technological items they will cost as much as anywhere else. It all depends on how far you are willing to compromise. The main expenses in any country are Housing, Food, Transport, Health and utilities.  Anything in the Philippines that is dependent on local labour will generally be cheap. Houses are very cheap, Food is very cheap, Public transport is very cheap, Utilities are the same as anywhere, and finally health (normal GP and medicine) is cheap. Considering that the majority of the population live on about $250 a month (for families), that is the bottom rung of survival. Basic Cars, Jeeps vans etc. can be quite cheap - if you do not require the mercedes or BMW you are used to!!  If you can survive on public transport, learn to use electrical appliances sparingly, do not need the latest gadgets, Have no major health issues, and are not cajoled into supporting the whole neighbourhood, then US$3000 a month is more than adequate. Less than that is a bit precarious - but very possible.

Title: Re: How Much Money Is Recommended for the Permanent Move to the Philippines?
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on February 02, 2014, 11:37:53 PM
The discussion started on the topic of how much money is required to live in The Philippines.
That is like asking how deep is a hole.
US$3000 a month is more than adequate. Less than that is a bit precarious - but very possible.
Now, do you think that the Philippines is still a "Third World Country" with "First and or Second World Prices" they have now? That's why many have considered or already have moved back to their own perspective home country!
The Philippines isn't what it used to be though they say "it's more fun in the Philippines", but now it comes with a price, along with all the immigration bureaucratic hassles, when not too long ago a $1,000 a month or less was adequate for your average retired foreigner to live on who were not willing to live like your average local Filipinos, who for some were already living in poverty conditions!
The hard fact of the matter that sometimes one has to accept is that, it's always a matter of money, either one has it or one doesn't due to unfortunate circumstances in one's life in the past, during and or after a forced or voluntary retirement with no other options of gainful employment, but to make due with what one has to live or survive on! That's just life!