Living In The Philippines Forum

Contributions By Members => Living Costs in different areas, cities, provinces => Topic started by: BudM on March 21, 2018, 11:34:21 AM

Title: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 21, 2018, 11:34:21 AM
Too many people listen to the crap about how cheap it is to live here.  Yeah, you can live out in a province away from most everything but in the US, you can get away from the cities and get out in most countrysides and live cheaper too.  Besides a few things like labor, medical, and a little lower on insurances along with a couple or few other things, my everyday living is no cheaper than the city I came from.  When you throw it all together and boil it, the result is damn close to being the same.  Granted, I live in Metro Manila area, and with Manila being the capital of the Philippines  it is a lot cheaper than the capital of the US or any of the large city and metropolitan areas.   But, all this business about how cheap it is would turn out to be just that.  Crap.  And anyone relying on it has no one to blame but themselves if they did not do enough research on it prior to making their jump no matter what motivated them to do it.  They want to blame someone, all they need to do is look in the mirror.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: JoeLP on March 21, 2018, 03:10:19 PM
Too many people listen to the crap about how cheap it is to live here.  Yeah, you can live out in a province away from most everything but in the US, you can get away from the cities and get out in most countrysides and live cheaper too.  Besides a few things like labor, medical, and a little lower on insurances along with a couple or few other things, my everyday living is no cheaper than the city I came from.  When you throw it all together and boil it, the result is damn close to being the same.  Granted, I live in Metro Manila area, and with Manila being the capital of the Philippines  it is a lot cheaper than the capital of the US or any of the large city and metropolitan areas.   But, all this business about how cheap it is would turn out to be just that.  Crap.  And anyone relying on it has no one to blame but themselves if they did not do enough research on it prior to making their jump no matter what motivated them to do it.  They want to blame someone, all they need to do is look in the mirror.

I think you are correct in most cases.  I lived in Grand Rapids, MI before coming over here.  2nd biggest metro area in Michigan behind Detroit.  I enjoyed it.  But having had a taste of the Philippines already, it's where I wanted to go.  I was ready to move and live in Las Pinas and probably would have enjoyed that if that was to be what would have happened.  Had enough finance to afford it and have the extra for emergency.  And as I mentioned in previous posts, at that point in time I never visited the Visayas and had zero intent on living in the Visayas.  Well, met Tina and that all changed.  Did as much research as I could on it.  Having lived in Bataan already I knew a little of the Provincial life but was still close to Manila.
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. 
Sure, the net sucks, but that's true across most of the Phils.  I never really sat down and did the math on what it costs here vs. Las Pinas.  I can say with a lot of confidence that my costs here in Catarman, compared to what they were in Orion, Bataan are about 60%.  Granted, there are other factors than just the area so it's not a fair comparison.  As Tina manages the market and gets some of the best deals that can be gotten and saves a lot on our food and all.  But everything else...it's pretty damn cheap here.
I got lucky.  That's what it boils down to.  I was ignorant of the Visayas, just as I am still ignorant of anything in Mindanao or south or west Visayas.  But I'm guessing there are places like Catarman in them also.  I guess it's what you decide you need and desire for a place to live.  I thought I needed to be near Manila.  I was wrong.  Now I'm putting away more into the savings account than what I thought would be possible.    I do know a few foreigners over in East Samar who are paying even less every month for their living than I am.  One being a former corporate worker.  He's loving it.  But that's his cup of Tea.  Where he's living I don't think I could take it for more reasons than just the fact that there is only one pharmacy that carries the needs I have and they don't even have that in stock all the time.  But also he's really in the boondocks, if you will. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 21, 2018, 03:57:04 PM
I think it is true for those of us from inexpensive places within the U.S. but for those from parts of Europe, then it can be less expensive to live in the Philippines than back home.

I also find that my wife and I spend as much while living in Cebu, as we do while living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in overall costs, some items are much less expensive in the Philippines and others are much more expensive, so it all balances out.

Rents are less expensive in Cebu but you get what you pay for, a smaller place and often not up to western standards.

Water cost less but I would never drink the tap water, and the filtered water we buy, I would bet the filter company makes way more bottles than they are supposed to make, before changing the filter, since there are few standards here and no one checking up on them.

Next comes cable TV, much less expensive but not much for me to watch and then on top of that, I do not know about all over the Philippines or even all over Cebu but here our cable often goes out during the best part of the show, thus ruining the ending for us, which makes watching much here not worthwhile for me.

Labor related items cost way less here, that is where the savings come in big time, so a taxi only cost around p70 to p120 to most places we go, that is less than the fuel and wear and tear on a vehicle would be for us, so we do not need to own a vehicle here, thus no insurance or maintenance costs for that either.

Property taxes are much less here but with that comes little on services, so poor roads and calls for help to fire or police can take forever to get help and an ambulance might cost us our life, instead of being quick, so with lower taxes comes you get much less, some people do not care, well that is until they might need one of those services, then they will likely care or die and then it will no longer matter.

We pay much less in condo fees monthly here than in our Florida condo but with that comes low upkeep on many items, not so in Florida. Here in the Philippines it seems upkeep is not a priority for many.

So yes it cost less on some items and renting a house would cost much less but it also would likely not be a house up to western standards or even western size.

I am sure others can toss in their thoughts but my thoughts are that the reason most people move to the Philippines is either for the weather or the great partners we can find here. YMMV...
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: FastWalk on March 21, 2018, 09:47:57 PM
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.

Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: FastWalk on March 21, 2018, 11:34:27 PM
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.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 22, 2018, 04:21:21 AM
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:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-costly-retirement-mistakes-avoid-100400370.html

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. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 22, 2018, 05:14:35 AM
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.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 22, 2018, 03:57:19 PM
Health insurance seems to dictate as to how you do everything in life.  All they want to do is keep slapping you around whenever you try to make decisions about how you are going to make sure you have, what you think, is ample coverage.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: David690 on March 22, 2018, 06:33:38 PM
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. 


Just want to check I'm reading that right....$7,000 per month in the 1990's in a house that you owned, so no rent.  No idea what the $ exchange rate was back then, but that seems a helluva lot. At todays rate that is more than P365,000 per month, I seriously doubt there are many here with that sort of monthly budget, not me for sure.  We live very well on P80k per month in Davao city.

Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 22, 2018, 07:49:53 PM
Just want to check I'm reading that right....$7,000 per month in the 1990's in a house that you owned, so no rent.  No idea what the $ exchange rate was back then, but that seems a helluva lot. At todays rate that is more than P365,000 per month, I seriously doubt there are many here with that sort of monthly budget, not me for sure.  We live very well on P80k per month in Davao city.

When I was in Philippines in '88 it was php 20 to $1.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 22, 2018, 08:02:02 PM
Since our house(3bdr 2 bath) is paid off are only bills are for our vehicle and the normal utilities.  So the vehicle (next 15 months) plus normal utilities  average about  php 35K(700) a month. 

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: JoeLP on March 22, 2018, 09:24:19 PM
Since our house(3bdr 2 bath) is paid off are only bills are for our vehicle and the normal utilities.  So the vehicle (next 15 months) plus normal utilities  average about  php 35K(700) a month. 

Chuck
That's the ideal situation.  Sorta where I am now.  Built a house on Tina's family's compound.  So no expense in living local except the utilities.  Even the vehicles we use are paid for.  Granted, we only have bikes.  Tina does NOT like me driving out from Catarman on anything talking about gangs in the mountains that look for foreigners and such.  While I don't feel I'd be in any danger...I believe in the whole happy wife happy life mantra. 
Also, we have land on the shoreline west of Catarman we plan on building on someday and that will add costs when the time comes.  But for now, living very cheap in our own home that is paid off.  I think what we have is hard for a lot of foreigners to come by. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 22, 2018, 11:24:46 PM
Since our house(3bdr 2 bath) is paid off are only bills are for our vehicle and the normal utilities.  So the vehicle (next 15 months) plus normal utilities  average about  php 35K(700) a month. 

Chuck
We don't have a mortgage or vehicle payments, just two well maintained used vehicles and our monthly utility bills averages around P7,000 with the help of our 3 new inverter A/Cs and double door refrigerator. The only huge monthly expense is our grocery bill of P48,000. My wife buys alot of imported stuff that your average budget minded Filipino would steer away from. We also eat out alot 3 to 4 times a week so my wife isn't a slave in the kitcken on a daily basis. A happy wife, is a happy life.
Luckily we have our TRICARE military health coverage, which the closest hospital is just 1/4 mile away. 75% of our pharmacy meds are reimbursed by TRICARE. I have diabetes type 2 (averages P150,000 a yr spent) and our Mercury Drug store is just across the street from where we live.
We do just fine with what we have.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 23, 2018, 01:24:45 AM
Just want to check I'm reading that right....$7,000 per month in the 1990's in a house that you owned, so no rent.  No idea what the $ exchange rate was back then, but that seems a helluva lot. At todays rate that is more than P365,000 per month, I seriously doubt there are many here with that sort of monthly budget, not me for sure.  We live very well on P80k per month in Davao city.

Perhaps I should add that SO was in showbiz and when asked to do a live performance her usual "talent fee" was in the range of P100,000 for a few hours.  Mind you, that was not all gravy.  Out of that usually came her manager's fee, sometimes some costs for a band, dancers, transportation (we always sent 2 of our own cars to her shows anywhere on Luzon).  So that P100,000 could get pruned to P50,000.  If she went to Japan, Dubai, etc., there was generally more profit as the promoters would cover travel, accommodation, meals, etc.  They were usually good sports and covered my costs to go along.

Given the nature of her trade, we tended to live a bit of a different lifestyle.  We usually had 2 or 3 maids living in and a driver and his wife living in.  In fact, looking back, I am probably being conservative in saying our burn rate was about $7,000 a month.  As for the exchange rate, I have not taken time to research historical rates online.  I know that it was about P55 to the US dollar in 2002 when I left the Phils.  But that was something of a high to which it had climbed.

While I think I could get by on less living in the Phils today, I would not expect cheap.  As some here have pointed out, there are many places in the US where one can live for about what it costs to live in the Phils.  My wife and I and our teenager now live on a somewhat remote off the grid location off Canada's west coast.  Not a place like Vancouver, known for being pricey.  We make a trip to town about once a week for groceries and supplies, which involves taking our boat to where we keep a truck, then car ferry for the rest of the trip.  We buy food, gas diesel and propane (gave up having the fuel boat come to our place, as the fuel boat costs are much higher).  There's always some other stuff to buy.  Last week a couple of chains for 2 chainsaws - $60.  Also there always seems to be some electronic device or accessory to buy. Food for the chickens (although they mostly feed themselves in summer).  Food for the cats (either that or accept mice). Oil and filter for the generator or ATV or one of our trucks here.  On and on.  Then breakfast and lunch in town and Chinese takeout to bring home.  I make all purchases with a credit card.  I come home every time with a pocketful of receipts.  It always seems to be about a thousand bucks, every week. 

We do not pay for electricity (solar and wind and a bit of diesel generator time to charge batts now and again), but the system has some costs, albeit less than buying grid power.  We heat and cook with wood for the most part, so some saving there.  But there are cell phones, internet and TV.  Property taxes and insurance.  I have no real idea of what we go through in a month but it must be at least $6,000.  On top of that there are the big expenses such as the cost of replacing a vehicle every once in a long while.  A new outboard for $12,000, new truck tires for $800, etc., etc.  The 2 trucks we keep here get shipped out by barge once a year for routine service.  I don't pay for the . barge (taken out in trade), but the service costs never seem to be under $1,000 apiece, partly because the miles of dirt road here are hard on vehicles and tires.  No one drives with insurance here, so that is not a cost.  We can drink and drive and use our cell phones while driving and there's no one around to tell you you can't.  That's one of the drawing cards to a place like this.  You get left alone.  You can build what you want and no inspector will show up and ask to see your permit or tell you that staircase is not to code.  But that's a digression from talking about cost of living.

So, the way I see it, were we to move to the Phils and maintain the same lifestyle, it would cost every bit as much.  The only diff might be that IF we found someone capable of servicing our motor vehicles, the labor cost might be less.  That's about it.  And, as I have said, if one of us encountered major illness, costs could run into millions of pesos as happened to Lee's friend.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 23, 2018, 10:36:11 AM
We don't have a mortgage on our 2 Cebu condo units that we had put together to make an 860 sq foot 2/2, back when we bought them in 2007, long since paid off, so right now cost to live in them is pretty inexpensive, a little under p10,000 a year in taxes for both and under p2,500 a month in condo fees, water usually under p500 a month but electric hits us with a cost of around p13,000 a month on warmer months, I really need to buy inverter type aircons but it just does not pay for us to spend the money until the ones we have crap out and especially at my age. Cable is only p299 a month for basic, full cable is I think p1,200 and internet cost me around p1,500 a month since I found that when buying the monthly prepaid packages for p999 Smart limits the amount I can use but by the day or week, it seems like they only slow me down some and not to the point where it becomes unusable, so I can live with that.

So all in all it is cheaper to live here for those costs, yet just the other day Nila bought a bbq chicken, boy the chickens here are soooooo tiny, anyway it was p255 for that chicken and my guess is that it would be lucky to weigh in at 1lb, back in Florida we buy bbq chickens for $4.99 at Costco or $5.99 at supermarkets and the chickens weigh in at around 4lbs, the weight is right on the package there, so 4 times as much for the same money, a much better value in Florida and we eat a lot of chicken when there.

Guys, how much does a bbq chicken cost where you are?

Also I think I wrote before, some items cost much less here and others cost a lot more, so it becomes a wash of sorts, when all is put into the mix but anyone who thinks they can live much less expensive here than in the U.S., best think again unless they come here from expensive places in the U.S. YMMV and yes it cost less here than in many European countries, so for them the Philippines may reduce their costs a lot.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 23, 2018, 10:55:31 AM
Guys, how much does a bbq chicken cost where you are?

0 php.

They tear up the garden something fierce by scratching.  So a few years ago we decided to stick with Ducks.  Had a "Chicken Rodeo" and harvested them all.  That was some hilarious crap.  Nieces and Nephews chasing chickens all over.  Like a Benny Hill re-run on fast forward.

Before a month passes,  we've got more chickens.  Asked the neighbors whose animals they were.  Nobody knows.  Ok ... free range, gypsy, chickens?  Who would a thunk it.  Time for another roundup.

This has became yearly thing for us.   Roast up a few and spread them amongst the relatives.  Ester pressure cans the rest.  We usually harvest 10 or so birds each culling.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: jjcabgou on March 23, 2018, 12:14:20 PM
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. 


Come on, if you live here on 6k a month you will live like a king, even in Manila.  Ridiculous to even state otherwise.   Now back to the topic from a more realistic perspective.   I find it somewhat cheaper to live here, even in a nice community, we shop at the markets etc.   It is cheaper and maybe significantly cheaper, however, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, it all depends on what you are willing to settle for with regards to life style, amenities etc...   Some on this forum can live a life style that I would never ever "choose"  and I am sure they are living on very little when compared to the USA.   I want air conditioning, a hot shower, a vehicle, decent internet etc.  So in my opinion, it IS somewhat cheaper, but it all depends....
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 23, 2018, 12:59:29 PM
Come on, if you live here on 6k a month you will live like a king, even in Manila.  Ridiculous to even state otherwise.   Now back to the topic from a more realistic perspective.   I find it somewhat cheaper to live here, even in a nice community, we shop at the markets etc.   It is cheaper and maybe significantly cheaper, however, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, it all depends on what you are willing to settle for with regards to life style, amenities etc...   Some on this forum can live a life style that I would never ever "choose"  and I am sure they are living on very little when compared to the USA.   I want air conditioning, a hot shower, a vehicle, decent internet etc.  So in my opinion, it IS somewhat cheaper, but it all depends....

You can call me ridiculous if that makes you feel superior. 

I suppose you are also calling Lee a liar as well.  He referred to lechon manok costing P255 for a one-pound bird compared to about $5 for a four-pounder back in Florida.  Is he too full of it?  So why don't you "come on" stop the ridiculous statements such as "It is cheaper and maybe significantly cheaper" when indeed it is not.  Not when comparing apples to apples.

You say you like aircon.  Lee mentioned paying P13,000 for electricity for an 860-square-foot condo in warmer months.  We lived in a 5,800-square foot detached house.  We kept the whole place cool all the time.  Do you have first-hand experience with paying the Meralco bill for that?  You say you want a vehicle.  Then you must know what new cars cost in the PI.  How does that compare to the U.S.?  It has perhaps changed, but time was if you wanted to drive every day in Manila, you needed 2 vehicles with tag numbers that allowed one car to be on the road when "color coding" keeps the other in the driveway.  Added cost. 

Lee also mentioned a friend shelling out P1.25 million for medical in relation to a heart attack "years ago", so presumably that would be more now.  I say one must budget for such events if living in the Phils.  Not cheaper than where I live now, essentially no cost.

Bigrod mentioned P48,000/mo. for groceries.  I am guessing that's not for 20 people.  He referred to a penchant for buying imported foods.  Me too.  I want to buy beef prime rib roasts, portobello mushrooms, lamb loin chops, salad greens, fine wine, etc.  In short, I do not want to reduce my standard below what I had living in the US and Canada.  I call you ridiculous if you think for a nanosecond that those things can be enjoyed in the Phils "significantly cheaper". 

In sum, don't give me any baloney about "live like a king" for $6k/mo. in Manila.  You are delusional.  Live comfortably, yes, particularly if you adopt a Filipino lifestyle.

And Lee, sorry for the rant, but in answer to your question, lechon at Costco here is about USD6.  They probably weigh in at about 4 lb. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: jjcabgou on March 23, 2018, 01:09:56 PM
You can call me ridiculous if that makes you feel superior. 

I suppose you are also calling Lee a liar as well.  He referred to lechon manok costing P255 for a one-pound bird compared to about $5 for a four-pounder back in Florida.  Is he too full of it?  So why don't you "come on" stop the ridiculous statements such as "It is cheaper and maybe significantly cheaper" when indeed it is not.  Not when comparing apples to apples.

You say you like aircon.  Lee mentioned paying P13,000 for electricity for an 860-square-foot condo in warmer months.  We lived in a 5,800-square foot detached house.  We kept the whole place cool all the time.  Do you have first-hand experience with paying the Meralco bill for that?  You say you want a vehicle.  Then you must know what new cars cost in the PI.  How does that compare to the U.S.?  It has perhaps changed, but time was if you wanted to drive every day in Manila, you needed 2 vehicles with tag numbers that allowed one car to be on the road when "color coding" keeps the other in the driveway.  Added cost. 

Lee also mentioned a friend shelling out P1.25 million for medical in relation to a heart attack "years ago", so presumably that would be more now.  I say one must budget for such events if living in the Phils.  Not cheaper than where I live now, essentially no cost.

Bigrod mentioned P48,000/mo. for groceries.  I am guessing that's not for 20 people.  He referred to a penchant for buying imported foods.  Me too.  I want to buy beef prime rib roasts, portobello mushrooms, lamb loin chops, salad greens, fine wine, etc.  In short, I do not want to reduce my standard below what I had living in the US and Canada.  I call you ridiculous if you think for a nanosecond that those things can be enjoyed in the Phils "significantly cheaper". 

In sum, don't give me any baloney about "live like a king" for $6k/mo. in Manila.  You are delusional.  Live comfortably, yes, particularly if you adopt a Filipino lifestyle.

And Lee, sorry for the rant, but in answer to your question, lechon at Costco here is about USD6 at Costco.  They probably weigh in at about 4 lb.

Only live "comfortably" in the Philippines on 6k IF you adopt the lifestyle of a filipino?   Dude, are you insane?   lol what the heck...  I guarantee you most on this forum would agree with me, you can live like a fricken king on that salary.   Unless you are completely completely foolish with your money, that would be my only caveat.    Yes I have experience, I live in a gated community, our house is about 270 sqm,  we pay 2000k a month for HOA dues and about the same for taxes.   We have a vehicle and I do not eat spam, dried fish and sardines everyday.   Additionally I have 10 people living in this house (in addition to my wife and myself).  So I would say I do have some experience.   
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 23, 2018, 01:35:06 PM
Hestercrefter I never said I spend php 48K on food.  We do spend a lot more than most Filipinos due since I like good food.  I spend on average 10K in S&R  a month not counting what is spent in other supermarkets and pelengkes.  We also eat out at least weekly.  I too like prime beef, lamb, and wines, etc.  I have a/c for a 750 sqft house and average about 6K a month, do I run them 24/7, no they run when needed.  Yes we have a car bought new in 2016, and yes we now have coding on certain roads at certain times in Cavite, so no need for a second car just plan ahead.

If I had $6K a month I would buy the 450 sqm lot next JJ and build a 3000 sqft house, because that would be $3K more than I get now..  I live very well on my military retirement and SS pensions here.  As far as medical at least 75% will be taken care of by TriCare(Mil) and the rest by Philhealth hopefully.  I still bank about $1K a month on my meager retirement pensions.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: jjcabgou on March 23, 2018, 02:06:28 PM
Hestercrefter I never said I spend php 48K on food.  We do spend a lot more than most Filipinos due since I like good food.  I spend on average 10K in S&R  a month not counting what is spent in other supermarkets and pelengkes.  We also eat out at least weekly.  I too like prime beef, lamb, and wines, etc.  I have a/c for a 750 sqft house and average about 6K a month, do I run them 24/7, no they run when needed.  Yes we have a car bought new in 2016, and yes we now have coding on certain roads at certain times in Cavite, so no need for a second car just plan ahead.

If I had $6K a month I would by the 450 sqm lot next JJ and build a 3000 sqft house, because that would be $3K more than I get now..  I live very well on my military retirement and SS pensions here.  As far as medical at least 75% will be taken care of by TriCare(Mil) and the rest by Philhealth hopefully.  I still bank about $1K a month on my meager retirement pensions.

Chuck

Chuck, if you were spending that much on food I was about to invite myself and the family down to Gen Trias once a week for a buffet style meal.   :)    We also spend A LOT more on food than what a typical "filipino lifestyle" family would spend.    In addition to what I have already mentioned I am also sending two of my nieces to a private school, and I dont even come close to making 6k a month.  Lastly, I live much much much better than I would be if I adopted the "filipino lifestyle"
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 23, 2018, 02:25:07 PM
I too like prime beef

I have some Au jus and home made horseradish, (nudge nudge wink wink (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLRZ0dIvwHY)).

In direct answer to the chicken question ... I just asked Ester.  Roasted chicken is 130 php each at the local bbq vendor, (Pangasinan).

My monthly outlay is about $600.  But we actively work at permanently eliminating our outflows.  Most of that is in gifts to various family for helping us.  I suppose that would go up if I amortized in the infrastructure build out costs.  It would still be cheaper than the States.

The thing for us was that we would have spent 3 times the equipment costs in regulatory compliance in the land of the big px.  In that perspective it's A LOT cheaper.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 23, 2018, 02:28:26 PM
We don't have a mortgage on our 2 Cebu condo units that we had put together to make an 860 sq foot 2/2, back when we bought them in 2007, long since paid off, so right now cost to live in them is pretty inexpensive, a little under p10,000 a year in taxes for both and under p2,500 a month in condo fees, water usually under p500 a month but electric hits us with a cost of around p13,000 a month on warmer months, I really need to buy inverter type aircons but it just does not pay for us to spend the money until the ones we have crap out and especially at my age. Cable is only p299 a month for basic, full cable is I think p1,200 and internet cost me around p1,500 a month since I found that when buying the monthly prepaid packages for p999 Smart limits the amount I can use but by the day or week, it seems like they only slow me down some and not to the point where it becomes unusable, so I can live with that.

So all in all it is cheaper to live here for those costs, yet just the other day Nila bought a bbq chicken, boy the chickens here are soooooo tiny, anyway it was p255 for that chicken and my guess is that it would be lucky to weigh in at 1lb, back in Florida we buy bbq chickens for $4.99 at Costco or $5.99 at supermarkets and the chickens weigh in at around 4lbs, the weight is right on the package there, so 4 times as much for the same money, a much better value in Florida and we eat a lot of chicken when there.

Guys, how much does a bbq chicken cost where you are?

Also I think I wrote before, some items cost much less here and others cost a lot more, so it becomes a wash of sorts, when all is put into the mix but anyone who thinks they can live much less expensive here than in the U.S., best think again unless they come here from expensive places in the U.S. YMMV and yes it cost less here than in many European countries, so for them the Philippines may reduce their costs a lot.

I buy frozen cornish hens at S&R and they weigh approx 1 lb.  The chickens we buy roasted at S&R, Andoks, etc are larger than a pound probably close to 1K.  We get prepared for appox php 250.  Normally we get 3 meals out of each and I am not a small eater. These were two we roasted before in a 13"x9" baking dish.



Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 23, 2018, 02:34:48 PM
As Art often writes, different strokes for different folks, we are all different, therefore, we all may have different ways to live. Now as far as spending that type of money, my wife and I live in Florida and Cebu and we do not spend anywhere near a month for our dual lifestyle including airfare as $72,000 a year, so most of you spend more than we do and I suspect you spend much more than many expats that move to the Philippines, that means we have the elite premium expats group on here, lol  ;) thumbs up guys and gals..
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: jjcabgou on March 23, 2018, 03:38:04 PM
6000 dollars a month would qualify as "elite" in the Philippines; it is more than a Brain Surgeon makes, more than a senator, more than the president of a university...   Granted, it is only enough to live on if you choose to live the filipino lifestyle :)   
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 23, 2018, 04:44:26 PM
As far as price of vehicles our Hyundai Tucson was just a couple hundred dollars more than the US price so not a big difference.  In regards to prime beef and lamb I get Aus/NZ at S&R at about the same price or a little cheaper than I would pay in California.  Having compared wine and liquor prices since 2010 it has been my experience that I can buy premium products here at the same or a little lower price.  As far as rum and brandies I can live with the local Tanduay(750ml @php 85) or Emperador(1L @ php 112) for my nightly cocktail.  As far as salad greens it is a short drive to Tagaytay to get fresh from the farms at lower prices than the Supermarkets.  I get fresh ground barako coffee when needed on the way to Tagaytay in my asawa's hometown for a lot cheaper than I can buy it in the USA.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: suzukig1 on March 23, 2018, 06:33:43 PM
We live a Filipino life style.  We support 2 other families (brothers) and send cousins and nephews to college.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 23, 2018, 06:59:30 PM
We live a Filipino life style.  We support 2 other families (brothers) and send cousins and nephews to college.

Can you define that is it like Tondo style or middle class or rich Filipino.  There is a great variance between the different status.  We also have sent nieces and nephews to college with more to follow. The parents in my view need to contribute what they can if they can.  We do not support extended family but do help if there is a legitimate need.  I came here to live a retired life and support my asawa not to support an extended families  every want.  That is just me other peoples mileage may very.  Also the reason I did not build in the family compound.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: chimellie on March 23, 2018, 10:51:34 PM
I don't live in the Philippines, only visit once a year or every 2 years and stay for about 3 weeks. But whenever we're there, we spend about 1500P a day on food to feed 7 people, we usually have chicken, seafood and rice. Sometimes we have beef, sliced beef fried with vegetables, not filet steaks. Filet are too expensive.

When we leave we give 10k P to he sister to pay the electric bill because we use AC a lot when we're there. The total we spend on food and electric bill comes to about  40k for 20 days there, less than 1000 USD . Now did I live like a king ? No, but I did live a lot better than the average Pinoy.

I think it's just the saying "live like a king " is just a saying to live really good, truly to live like a king you need at least a few million of piso a week. A king would have at least 10 maids, 4 drivers, bodyguards, a few Mercedes, a few girlfriends, unlimited foods, champagne...etc.....         
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: FastWalk on March 23, 2018, 11:40:40 PM
I don't live in the Philippines, only visit once a year or every 2 years and stay for about 3 weeks. But whenever we're there, we spend about 1500P a day on food to feed 7 people, we usually have chicken, seafood and rice. Sometimes we have beef, sliced beef fried with vegetables, not filet steaks. Filet are too expensive.

When we leave we give 10k P to he sister to pay the electric bill because we use AC a lot when we're there. The total we spend on food and electric bill comes to about  40k for 20 days there, less than 1000 USD . Now did I live like a king ? No, but I did live a lot better than the average Pinoy.
 

This sounds really reasonable to me.   And about the same as what I experienced in the past. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 12:40:24 AM
Screw all this talk about chickens.  I want beef and I get beef.  And I don't have a 48k peso grocery bill a month or have a 72k USD budget for living.  For one thing, I don't get anywhere near 72k USD.  And whoever that was talking about having two or three live in maids plus a driver and his wife living with them, even if I did have enough coming in for someone's 72k USD a year budget, I would still be making sure that driver's wife knew how to use a broom and replace one of those maids.

And as far as all the elite guys on here, no, you are mistaken.  There are only a handful of you that are like you and are such.  But, I am happy as is.  Well, yeah, everyone would like to have more money.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 24, 2018, 01:26:02 AM
I also don't make $72k a year, but I give my wife now a grocery budget of P12k a week and she manages to spend it every week. When some of you read this, you must take into account what our P12k a week grocery budget consists of, which consists of quite a variety of things and they're mostly imported goods. It also covers our weekly dining out 2 to 3 times a week breakfast, lunch and dinner including in between snacks.
We live in an area that provides all of our grocery shopping needs just within a 1/4 mile radius. We have our local Pinoy market, 5 supermarkets just mintues away from each other. I don't go shopping with my  wife, I just drop her off and pick her up when she's done with all of her shopping.
We also have alot of other eatery places within a few minutes from each other like in Paseo de Sta Rosa, Ayala Mall at Nuvali, A Vista Mall with a new Denny's just a few blocks from where we live and other sorts of eatery places like great pizza at S&R.
I'll stop there, but many more all close by.
We seldom go out on weekends, because traffic is at a snail's pace from all of the out of towners going to Tagaytay via Nuvali.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 08:06:56 AM
My joke about the elite expats group was just that, a joke and all I meant was that we have some elite expats on here, not all, I know that I too do not fit into that group but I also know that I and all of us should only wish the best for those who do, they no doubt worked hard before retirement to deserve to have the better life they now have. Everyone deserves to have the life they wish to have and can afford to have, some of us are more blessed than others and there is nothing wrong with it being that way. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: jjcabgou on March 24, 2018, 09:07:10 AM
My joke about the elite expats group was just that, a joke and all I meant was that we have some elite expats on here, not all, I know that I too do not fit into that group but I also know that I and all of us should only wish the best for those who do, they no doubt worked hard before retirement to deserve to have the better life they now have. Everyone deserves to have the life they wish to have and can afford to have, some of us are more blessed than others and there is nothing wrong with it being that way.

We definitely got off the beaten path on this topic and I will take the blame.  I just did not want people to get the idea that 6k a month would force one to live like a typical filipino, and I still feel a statement like that is absolutely utterly ridiculous, and no it does not make me feel "superior" to voice that opinion.   I do not know, but I doubt very few of us have a monthly living salary of 6k, I sure as hell dont.   If you live within your means and shop smartly I do feel it is quite a bit cheaper to live here than the USA.    So for those of you following this post that do not live here, and are contemplating the move, please disregard 6k a month as any kind of benchmark at all.   
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 09:38:29 AM
We spend around $2,000 a month but we also own our own place, so no rents, and stay on a Balikbayan Privilege, so no visa fees, and we do not have health insurance here, my U.S. Blue Cross will possibly cover us for an emergency here, so no health insurance fees, and we do not have a vehicle here, so no upkeep or insurance but possibly taxis cost us around the same or close.

IMO the days or living in $1,000 a month are gone unless we want to live a simple life in the provinces, then it probably still can be done on even around half of that.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 09:56:37 AM
A budget of 1000 USD a month?  Yeah, that is living simple alright.  I would say maybe 3/5 of that at my place goes to groceries and other food.  But that would be damn simple living, I would guess, even in the provinces.  I never really sat down and calculated up the groceries but that might be right on me.  I guess there are people content with spending that small a budget to live.  Not me though.  And I am another one who did not come to the Philippines to live the so called "average Filipino lifestyle".  Which I sure see a bunch of average Filipinos living better than me.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 24, 2018, 10:14:37 AM
A budget of 1000 USD a month?  Yeah, that is living simple alright.

I look around me and see that most of my neighbors, (regardless of ethnicity, religiosity, or nationality), confuse "want's" with "need's".  As a result they are perennially broke.  Regardless of the size of their income.

Their kids, and grandkids, are raised with that confusion.  So the tendency to perpetual poverty becomes inherited, and cultural.

There are alternatives to the consumption based lifestyle.

In my experience living a production based lifestyle is healthier, more fulfilling, and more meaningful than grazing on what ever is marketed to you. 

It is damn sure cheaper.   

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 24, 2018, 10:16:51 AM
We've lived in the Philippines 20 years now and have lived the different lifestyles out in the provinces, small townes and within the city, but we now live in the modern suburban community of Sta Rosa, Laguna which we prefer. It's not cheap to live here and a $1,000 a month budget just will not do. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 24, 2018, 11:00:49 AM
Screw all this talk about chickens. 
Lee just loves his large size chickens. ;)
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 11:30:21 AM
Lee just loves his large size chickens. ;)
Yup, the chickens here barely fill one of my teeth.  8)
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: chimellie on March 24, 2018, 06:31:28 PM
A friend of mine just moved to Bauang  La Union, near Manila. He's paying 6k a month for 1 bedroom apartment near the beach, he spends about 25k a month on food. He doesn't drink every night, but drinks moderately on weekends. He doesn't live like a king, but he lives comfortably on about 1000 USD a month. I almost forget to mention he just met a young lady there, she stays with him and doing laundry, cooking ...etc.., he's giving her parents 1500 a week.

I don't think he's lying to me about the those figures, if it's true then yes you can live in the Philippines really good for 1000 usd a month if you were single.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 06:45:34 PM
A friend of mine just moved to Bauang  La Union, near Manila. He's paying 6k a month for 1 bedroom apartment near the beach, he spends about 25k a month on food. He doesn't drink every night, but drinks moderately on weekends. He doesn't live like a king, but he lives comfortably on about 1000 USD a month. I almost forget to mention he just met a young lady there, she stays with him and doing laundry, cooking ...etc.., he's giving her parents 1500 a week.

I don't think he's lying to me about the those figures, if it's true then yes you can live in the Philippines really good for 1000 usd a month if you were single.
You may be leaving out immigration fees and health insurance costs, that would be at least another $200 a month, many people seem to not include those in costs and then comes socking away some for a rainy day or an exit plan.

Then, a one bedroom apartment on the beach, how big is it, usually one room, IMO one room or 18 sq meters does not an apartment make, many people in Cebu call a studio an apartment. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 07:10:32 PM
You may be leaving out immigration fees and health insurance costs, that would be at least another $200 a month, many people seem to not include those in costs and then comes socking away some for a rainy day or an exit plan.

Then, a one bedroom apartment on the beach, how big is it, usually one room, IMO one room or 18 sq meters does not an apartment make, many people in Cebu call a studio an apartment.

Since you come yearly on a BB do you realize what a 9a visa cost?  It is less than $40 a month.  Health insurance again will depend on the individual(age, health conditions, etc).  PhilHealth can be purchased by foreigner for php 17K per year, again about less than $30 a month.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 07:20:20 PM
Since you come yearly on a BB do you realize what a 9a visa cost?  It is less than $40 a month.  Health insurance again will depend on the individual(age, health conditions, etc).  PhilHealth can be purchased by foreigner for php 17K per year, again about less than $30 a month.

Chuck

PhilHealth is not real insurance, it basically covers nothing.

Immigration also means an ACR fee plus a tourist has to leave every 36 months and then there are ECC fees, a person needs to take them all into account, none by themselves are a big deal but if someone gets very sick without REAL insurance then it could be a big deal and if they do not have the cash or a high value credit credit card, then they may just die.
http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days (http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days)
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 07:25:51 PM
I look around me and see that most of my neighbors, (regardless of ethnicity, religiosity, or nationality), confuse "want's" with "need's".  As a result they are perennially broke.  Regardless of the size of their income.

Their kids, and grandkids, are raised with that confusion.  So the tendency to perpetual poverty becomes inherited, and cultural.

There are alternatives to the consumption based lifestyle.

In my experience living a production based lifestyle is healthier, more fulfilling, and more meaningful than grazing on what ever is marketed to you. 

It is damn sure cheaper.   

Hope this helps.

Yeah, unfortunately, I don't have enough room to grow a garden.  That is the one thing that did not pan out the way I wanted during retirement.  Not yet anyway.  My wife has her business here and she is not ready to retire.  Sooner or later it will happen though.  Just going to take some more time.  Not complaining for the time being though.  All her profit she uses for what she wants and puts the rest back in her business.  I just cover all the household and she doesn't bother me for pesos.  I am already just looking around some and scoping out the landscape for where there might be some available land not costing too much and where I might want to set up.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 07:29:57 PM
PhilHealth is not real insurance, it basically covers nothing.

Immigration also means an ACR fee plus a tourist has to leave every 36 months and then there are ECC fees, a person needs to take them all into account, none by themselves are a big deal but if someone gets very sick without REAL insurance then it could be a big deal and if they do not have the cash or a high value credit credit card, then they may just die.
[url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days[/url] ([url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days[/url])


PhilHealth did not impress me.  When my son was born my wife had complications as he was almost a month earlier than he was going to be scheduled.  She was in the hospital nine days and had blood transfusions and all the other stuff.  Between my boy's bill and my wife's, it totaled up to about 195k pesos. PhilHealth paid 17.5k.  So, much for all this talk you hear from other expats about PhilHealth paying about 50%.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 07:36:17 PM
PhilHealth paid 17.5k. 
Exactly my point, it now cost I believe p17,000 and only paid you around the same, so why even bother except having it without a credit card should get a person admitted into a hospital, well until they want more money up front.

As I had written before somewhere on here, one guy I know it cost him 1.25 million pesos for stents and a hospital stay for a heart attack. I have heard from others who spent around the same amount to be treated for other similar issues. I just do not want anyone to think PhilHealth is health insurance, it is IMO nothing but fluff when it has to be used for any real issues, now break a toe nail and it should work.  ;)
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 07:37:16 PM
Exactly my point, it now cost I believe p17,000 and only paid you around the same, so why even bother except having it without a credit card should get a person admitted into a hospital, well until they want more money up front.

As I had written before somewhere on here, one guy I know it cost him 1.25 million pesos for stents and a hospital stay for a heart attack. I have heard from others who spent around the same amount to be treated for other similar issues. I just do not want anyone to think PhilHealth is health insurance, it is IMO nothing but fluff when it has to be used for any real issues, not break a toe nail and it should work.  ;)

Yeah, well my point was that I was agreeing with you.  I was just giving my reason.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: chimellie on March 24, 2018, 07:38:52 PM
You may be leaving out immigration fees and health insurance costs, that would be at least another $200 a month, many people seem to not include those in costs and then comes socking away some for a rainy day or an exit plan.

Then, a one bedroom apartment on the beach, how big is it, usually one room, IMO one room or 18 sq meters does not an apartment make, many people in Cebu call a studio an apartment.
Yeah maybe a tiny place, so after adding another $200 a month it comes to about $1000 a month, still cheap.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 07:40:04 PM
They lived cheap on Giligan's Island too.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 07:40:54 PM
Yeah, well my point was that I was agreeing with you.  I was just giving my reason.
Yup Bud, we were agreeing, my post was more directed at Chuck and members who need to be aware of what they need to have and IMO only, $1,000 a month will not cut it when all other items are included.

I often laugh when someone tells me they come here because rents are so cheap, well where they left they had a few thousand sq foot house and now they live in a studio, of course that cost less.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 07:42:06 PM
PhilHealth is not real insurance, it basically covers nothing.

Immigration also means an ACR fee plus a tourist has to leave every 36 months and then there are ECC fees, a person needs to take them all into account, none by themselves are a big deal but if someone gets very sick without REAL insurance then it could be a big deal and if they do not have the cash or a high value credit credit card, then they may just die.
[url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days[/url] ([url]http://www.immigration.gov.ph/visa-requirements/non-immigrant-visa/temporary-visitor-visa/extension-of-authorized-stay-beyond-59-days[/url])


Sorry Lee did not know you where an expert on PhilHealth, have you used it?   I must be wasting my php 17K, but of course it only doesn't cover the Z Plan.  Damn the ECC fee is less than php 1K and if I remember correctly you pay for it except the php 500 express fee during one of the extensions.  I was including the ACR fee in the total already, it is $50 dollars.  If you come here on a 9a and not planned on leaving after 36 months then you did not do the research, seems to be a personal problem.  If you came here single and married a Pinay prior to the 36 months leave and comeback on a BB, then apply for a 13a.  The individual has that choice plus SRRV.
Bottom line Visa fee here are reasonable.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 07:43:34 PM
Exactly my point, it now cost I believe p17,000 and only paid you around the same, so why even bother except having it without a credit card should get a person admitted into a hospital, well until they want more money up front.

As I had written before somewhere on here, one guy I know it cost him 1.25 million pesos for stents and a hospital stay for a heart attack. I have heard from others who spent around the same amount to be treated for other similar issues. I just do not want anyone to think PhilHealth is health insurance, it is IMO nothing but fluff when it has to be used for any real issues, now break a toe nail and it should work.  ;)

When BudM had the kid they were paying php 2400 a year.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 07:45:43 PM
Sorry Lee did not know you where an expert on PhilHealth, have you used it?   I must be wasting my php 17K, but of course it only doesn't cover the Z Plan. 
Chuck
Chuck I am not an expert on anything, I just know of many expats that expected it to cover items and it covered basically very little. So please tell us, if a person breaks a leg or has a heart attack, how much will it cover???
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 07:53:25 PM
When BudM had the kid they were paying php 2400 a year.

Chuck

My wife had the kid and I don't bother with PhilHealth.  She is covered with it, I haven't figured out if I am or not because no one knows what is going on with it.  I carried over my health insurance from work and I have other insurance for them besides PhilHealth.  No matter. Every bit of it takes a damn lawyer to figure out what it all says.  And from '79 on I have been paying for health insurance and used it maybe 3 or 4 times because of bad cases of the flu and the other being physicals.  And now, the hospital bill for my boy.
 And if nothing goes wrong, you could always self insure but I am not taking that chance.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 07:56:55 PM
Here is what Z Benefits pays  (https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/benefits/) for certain items.

Breast Cancer
(stage 0 to IIIA)
P100,000

Prostate Cancer
(low to intermediate risk)
P100,000

Please read the rest at the link above, so it covers less than $2,000 for cancers, now how much would the hospital costs be for those cancers?
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 08:01:53 PM
As for a heart attack, I already know what the approx cost is because I know of a couple of people who had them while in Cebu but prices vary, below is what z coverage says for standard risk, both guys paid from p1 mil to p1.25 mil
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery (standard risk)
P550,000

All I am trying to stress is that it is a crap shoot trying to depend on PhilHealth for full coverage of many health treatments, everyone mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 08:09:56 PM
Chuck I am not an expert on anything, I just know of many expats that expected it to cover items and it covered basically very little. So please tell us, if a person breaks a leg or has a heart attack, how much will it cover???

Lee your a big boy and have the same tools available that I have please google it. Never said Philhealth is full coverage on anything, nether does their website, people need to read and understand the coverage. I know what they paid for my father-in-law when he was hospitalized a few years ago and he paid nothing since he was a senior.  As I stated earlier foreigners do not get the Z Plan coverage.  By the way waiting for you to post the changes to opening bank accounts that you thought happened earlier this year.  I can find nothing and my BDO manager has seen/heard nothing.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 08:17:07 PM
Lee your a big boy and have the same tools available that I have please google it. Never said Philhealth is full coverage on anything, nether does their website, people need to read and understand the coverage. I know what they paid for my father-in-law when he was hospitalized a few years ago and he paid nothing since he was a senior.  As I stated earlier foreigners do not get the Z Plan coverage.  By the way waiting for you to post the changes to opening bank accounts that you thought happened earlier this year.  I can find nothing and my BDO manager has seen/heard nothing.

Chuck
I posted what I can find and yes foreigners cannot get the coverage that locals can and definitely not the coverage of senior locals, so I already looked it up, the way I figure it, if an expat has a heart attack it will likely cost them between half a million pesos and three quarters of a million pesos on top of PhilHealth, now that seems very far away to me from $1,000 a month, so basically unless they have a high value credit card or a lot of cash, they are likely going to die.

As for the bank account, you already know that nothing here is as it seems, or you should, so when 4 banks now have told me the same thing now including China Bank, it must be written somewhere that the banks get and not online, ask you bank manager if they will recommend a local BDO in Cebu to open an account for my tourist friend, there is one on Osmena circle we can easily go to, I think not but I will be happy if they will help us to do it, as it is ruining my friends plans to buy a condo.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 08:37:16 PM
Lee your a big boy and have the same tools available that I have please google it.
Chuck
I guess you must be better at using Google than I am, I tried and could not find out any coverage besides Z coverage which would be of no use to any of us. Maybe you can have better luck than I did?

BTW, if your bank manager can help my friend open an account then I am sure he or I would be very happy to buy you and your wife a nice steak dinner.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 08:50:47 PM
I posted what I can find and yes foreigners cannot get the coverage that locals can and definitely not the coverage of senior locals, so I already looked it up, the way I figure it, if an expat has a heart attack it will likely cost them between half a million pesos and three quarters of a million pesos on top of PhilHealth, now that seems very far away to me from $1,000 a month, so basically unless they have a high value credit card or a lot of cash, they are likely going to die.

As for the bank account, you already know that nothing here is as it seems, or you should, so when 4 banks now have told me the same thing now including China Bank, it must be written somewhere that the banks get and not online, ask you bank manager if they will recommend a local BDO in Cebu to open an account for my tourist friend, there is one on Osmena circle we can easily go to, I think not but I will be happy if they will help us to do it, as it is ruining my friends plans to buy a condo.

While I agree if any calamity befalls a foreigner here they need a back up plan, it still does not actually have anything to do with the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly cost of living.  It has nothing to do with planning for eventualities that may or may not arise in the future.  If the individual has not factored that into their plans that is their fault.  Health problems happen that is life.  Do you sock the funds away to high tail it to Guam if you have Medicare, possibly.  Do you keep the funds available to get treated here again an individual choice. Plus other options such health insurance, TriCare, etc.  These are individual choices that all adults need to make, if they haven't then that is poor planning on their part.

As far as the banking I think I previously stated I would have asked them to provide the actually documents changing the previous policy, whether it be local bank or Central Bank.  They have already said no so you can't piss them off if you ask.  I already asked if I had a friend coming in the next coming months to manager and he told me no problem once he had ACR and residence to use for address. BDO is a franchise operation not one cohesive unit.

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 24, 2018, 09:04:44 PM
I have said a few times that if something big happens to me, I might as well just go ahead and die.  If you don't let yourself die because of whatever it is, then the hospitals and insurance companies will kill you.  No, I will go to Guam and try and use Medicare along with my insurance and see if they can keep me kicking.  I have more to live for now than I did before.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: bigrod on March 24, 2018, 09:24:00 PM
Lee this is what I used before to check case rates, not sure if it is still functional.
https://crs.philhealth.gov.ph/

Chuck
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 24, 2018, 09:25:19 PM
While I agree if any calamity befalls a foreigner here they need a back up plan, it still does not actually have anything to do with the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly cost of living.  It has nothing to do with planning for eventualities that may or may not arise in the future.  If the individual has not factored that into their plans that is their fault.  Health problems happen that is life.  Do you sock the funds away to high tail it to Guam if you have Medicare, possibly.  Do you keep the funds available to get treated here again an individual choice. Plus other options such health insurance, TriCare, etc.  These are individual choices that all adults need to make, if they haven't then that is poor planning on their part.

As far as the banking I think I previously stated I would have asked them to provide the actually documents changing the previous policy, whether it be local bank or Central Bank.  They have already said no so you can't piss them off if you ask.  I already asked if I had a friend coming in the next coming months to manager and he told me no problem once he had ACR and residence to use for address. BDO is a franchise operation not one cohesive unit.

Chuck

I will be back at the bank within a week or so, they ordered new chip atm cards for me, I will ask them to print the law for me while I am there, then hopefully I will have more information what the heck they are going by since I also cannot find anything new online about any changes, thus why I wrote in my posts in the banking section, that something apparently changed for 4 banks to say the exact same thing to us, but time will tell, I hope I can get to the bottom of it, in the meantime I suspect that others will likely run into the same issues I did.

Has anyone been able to open a bank account since the first of this year while on a tourist visa and I am not referring to those of us who are married to Filipinas or Filipinos because they might be able to open accounts for them and add us to them. 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on March 24, 2018, 10:26:00 PM
Lee this is what I used before to check case rates, not sure if it is still functional.
https://crs.philhealth.gov.ph/

Chuck
For us retired military, fortunately our Overseas TRICARE medical health coverage will suffice for our out/in patient care and pharmacy reimbursements. To put it in plain simple terms, we pay no monthly premiums except for our monthly SSA Part B, our deductibles and 25% co-share of our medical bills. Anything over $3,000 within a calendar year, TRICARE covers everything afterwards. As a backup, I do have ample amount of credit cards for just in case purposes if needed.
I opted out of continuing My PhilHealth coverage, just lazy to redo the registration over again. Anyway, I'm not impressed as to what PhilHealth has to offer.     
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: FastWalk on March 24, 2018, 10:38:55 PM
Bottom line Visa fee here are reasonable.

Chuck

Agree.

I know for sure that my 13A is much less expensive than my wife's USA visa was.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: FastWalk on March 24, 2018, 10:53:10 PM
And if nothing goes wrong, you could always self insure but I am not taking that chance.

If in the medium or upper income in the US,  the monthly cost of health care plan for a family can be getting close to the 3k range before medicare age.  That is 25 to 30k per year,  or 1.5M peso just to buy the insurance plus there is usually some deductible and co pay...   In lower income  can be less cost or at the lowest can be free.  Those expensive emergency operations are much cost more than in the Phills.



Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 25, 2018, 04:15:46 AM
That is the one thing that did not pan out the way I wanted during retirement.

I understand the not panning out.  If I had a piso for every time that happened, Ester and I would be living on the "Richie Rich" side of town.

I was not speaking of gardening in specific.  I was talking about the thought process.  The attitude.  Or in some cases the apathy.

The process of having expenses for things you want, (but think you need), accrue.  Until it consumes everything you have.  Kinda like how a closet, or hard drive, always gets filled up.

Here is an example.  Recently here on LIP there was a discussion about Golf.  Mind you I have nothing whatsoever against golf or Gophers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5yCwN7wymc).

I get up in the morning, put on good clothes and walk the crop.  A golfer gets up in the morning, puts on good clothes, and walks 9 or 18 holes.

When I look at the crop I feel good if it is doing well.  Bad if its not.  I have concern about the future and how it is going to affect my crop.

A golfer feels good/bad.  Is he at or under par?  How is that gonna affect his game in the future.

One activity produces.  One expenses.  We are taught that one is work and the other is play.

I don't have enough room to grow a garden.

Actually you probably do.  Just don't know it.  This ain't your Grandma's gardening anymore. 

There are probably 10 or 20 million people the globe over working on some aspect of this at this moment.  A good part of what they innovate is available.  If you have the concern to look for it.

Think outside of the box.  Here are some ideas to prime the pump.

aeroponic gardening tower (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=aeroponic+gardening+tower)

balcony farming (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=balcony+farming)

balcony aquaponics (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=balcony+aquaponics)

manila city gardening (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=manila+city+gardening)


It's not so much about agriculture as it is about making things better instead of being distracted by entertainment. Or not caring at all. 

It's about readjusting yourself to derive more enjoyment from producing something versus consuming something.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 04:21:45 AM
We definitely got off the beaten path on this topic and I will take the blame.  I just did not want people to get the idea that 6k a month would force one to live like a typical filipino, and I still feel a statement like that is absolutely utterly ridiculous, and no it does not make me feel "superior" to voice that opinion.   I do not know, but I doubt very few of us have a monthly living salary of 6k, I sure as hell dont.   If you live within your means and shop smartly I do feel it is quite a bit cheaper to live here than the USA.    So for those of you following this post that do not live here, and are contemplating the move, please disregard 6k a month as any kind of benchmark at all.

I never intended 6k a month to be any kind of "benchmark".  I said that when I lived there, with a showbiz personality, it's what we spent.  And I'll not resile from my statement about living like a Filipino.  I did not say "typical" Filipino, which would sweep in masses of poor folks.  With 6k a month, I would have to live more like the average upper middle class Filipino.  Very comfortable, but far from the life of a "king". 

The community in which we lived was inhabited by many folks who are well-known in the Phils.  Besides me, there was only one other white guy, a guy from the UK.  One neighbor was a fellow attorney, so we saw each other often.  He had a Makati law office and dealt with many international clients.  Even at that, I was somewhat surprised by the fees he was able to charge.  His hourly rate on most files was in line with that of someone practising in the U.S.  He wasn't charging pesos.  Of anyone around there, he came the closet to living like a king.  His house was probably 10,000 square feet, with several outbuildings, including one housing a swimming pool and entertainment area. The lot must have been about half an acre.  In those days, the few building lots that were left in the area were selling for about P18,000 per square m.  He was accustomed to international travel with his family.  I just now went online and found a house for sale in the general area.  P20 million for a house of 157 sq. m. on a lot of 287 sq. m.  That would put my former neighbor's house perhaps in the range of 100 million.  I don't know.  But what I do know, is that he was going through a lot more than 6k a month. 

I had friends in a nearby gated community, where the properties were smaller, smaller houses, but quite nice.  A lot of professional/executive types living there.  Lots were mostly in the 100-120 sq. m. range and the house floor area in the 150 sq. m. range.  The lots were dinky compared to most cities in which I have lived.  Many of the houses had common walls.  But even back then, they were selling for about P6 million.  Were I to return to Manila, it is that kind of place where I would probably live.  I would have a nice car, keep aircon running, although I would not likely have central air as I did before, since that is not often seen there.  I would continue to travel internationally and in the Phils, I would budget some of my 6k a month for major replacements, such as replacing my car once in awhile.  I would have to put money aside regularly in a reserve for unforeseen health issues.  There are now several posts in this thread attesting to what any kind of a major health need can cost.  There would be money for schooling some kids.  If you have maid(s)/staff, the custom, as I understood it, was the employer covers their health costs.  We did.

So, for sure, I could live in comfort on an income of 6k a month, live like those Filipinos who live in those kinds of communities, although not to the standard of the better off ones.  But like a king?  Come on, that's "utterly ridiculous", "insane" and all those other sorts of insults that jjcabgou fires off so readily.  Whatever happened to simply expressing disagreement with another member's posts, without heaping on the insults?  A bit of an anger management problem there.  I am not sure of the reason for all that hostility.  Upthread you wrote:

Yes I have experience, I live in a gated community, our house is about 270 sqm,  we pay 2000k a month for HOA dues and about the same for taxes.   We have a vehicle and I do not eat spam, dried fish and sardines everyday.   Additionally I have 10 people living in this house (in addition to my wife and myself).  So I would say I do have some experience.

That suggests your financial situation has improved, since February 2014, when you wrote:

lol not "well to do" at all, there are many inexpensive places to live in Tagaytay; the gated communities I guess are expensive, but we did not look at those (although I dont know their prices, I just assumed they were not affordable)
 

I posted, above, about the fact that we now live off grid in a somewhat remote location, which suits us well.  We have about 60 acres of oceanfront, with close to a mile of waterfront.  We have a large vegetable garden and a small orchard with a variety of fruit trees.   I do not think we could obtain anything like it in the Phils at a reasonable cost.  In US dollars, the land cost approx. $240,000 in 1994 and I have probably recovered all of that by once in awhile, when prices are up, cutting and selling a few Douglas fir and western red cedar trees.  Even the odd hemlock.  We are in a rain forest and timber volume increases at about 8% per year.  Looking that this place, you would be hard pressed to detect that anything had been cut.  We have here 2 pickup trucks, bought used, and a Kubota diesel ATV, bought new in 2011 for about $13,000. We have a canoe and a small open boat and our principal boat is an 18-foot welded aluminum.  We bought it about 7 years ago, used, for about $17,000, with a 20-year-old Yamaha 115 on it and an 8hp Honda trolling motor.  We replaced the main engine 2 years ago with a Yamaha 150, and we put in a new chartplotter and depth sounder and a bit of fishing gear, for a total of about $16,000.  Last year the old canvas top needed replacing, so we spent $8,000 to have a metal roof and a high quality cabin door and windows installed. 

Both of our pickups have only the sort of half rear doors, that are hinged at the rear, so people can climb into the cramped fold-down rear seats.  We like to take road trips in Canada and the US, and our son is now in his teens, bigger than his dad and mum, so I decided last year to buy a new pickup with what I guess some call a "crew cab" - a full-size rear seat area.  We leave on Monday to drive down to coast highway from Vancouver to Los Angeles, to have a look at our house there, recently renovated.  What used to be our "town truck" has been retired to this place.  It's a 10-year-old Ford Ranger, with only about 70,000 miles on it.  Probably no residual, value, so we just put in on the boat and brought it out here as a backup vehicle.  If we sold it, someone would want it for almost nothing, so I'd rather keep it. 

I mention a bit about how we live here, what we have, and at what cost, not to boast, but to show that it is highly unlikely we could come close to duplicating what we have and how we live here, doing so in the Phils, at comparable cost.  I really do not think it can be done.  To go there, we would have to pull in our horns. 

We happen to like parts of Palawan.  From time to time I have priced oceanfront properties there.  Here is one I found today:

https://www.property24.com.ph/lot-for-sale-in-el-nido-112272719 (https://www.property24.com.ph/lot-for-sale-in-el-nido-112272719)

For sale for a paltry P396,996,000 for 10 ha. - much less than half the land are we now own.  I doubt could recover much of that cost by selling merchantable timber.  Maybe make a bit of coco lumber.  Our land (not including improvements) here might fetch $500,000 on a good day.  Not even a down payment on the Palawan lot.

Here, there are a variety of types, in different snack brackets.  A couple up the road came from NYC.  He's a retired CEO of a large public company.  They sold a house there for $16 million.  They have spent, literally, millions here on their waterfront lot.  They have a main boat that makes our look like a dinghy.  We had a much bigger boat than we have today, but I got tired of regularly filling up the 200-gallon gas tank and paying the considerable maintenance.  But to these folks, it is nothing. They own other houses, in other parts of the world.  They consider this place home and everywhere else just places to visit.

At the other end of the scale, we have people here living on non-waterfront lots, at the 10-acre minimum lot size.  Such lots can be purchased today for about $45,000, about the same price as 20 years ago.  Those folks typically buy a used sawmill, cut some trees, mill some boards, and build a house very economically.  Probably for less than a cheap house in the PI.  Some live without indoor plumbing or refrigeration.  No one here has grid power.  Some, like us, spend quite a bit to set up solar and wind systems to give us city-style power.  Those other folks will often have one or 2 small solar panels, one Trojan battery, and that's it.  One fellow who likes to smoke grows his own tobacco.  They live off the land.  I doubt I could tempt them to move to the Phils with the promise of cheap living.  What would they save?

I am not sure than one is better than the other.  The ones who live very frugally appear content.  There are some who have been here for decades.  They "retired" as kids and are happy.  Not a lifestyle I would care to emulate, but that's probably related to how i grew up.  I don't envy those folks, but nor do I pity them.  They seem content.   Similarly, I look at the handful of uber rich hereabouts in much the same way.  I don't envy what they have.  I am comfortable in my own space and I say good on them. 

Were I to return to Manila, another area in which I would have my mettle sorely tested in my efforts to live like a king would be in the motor vehicle department.  When we lived in LA before moving to the Phils, we each had a Corvette to drive.  Really nice cars for LA and SoCal.  We were sorry to leave them behind.  After awhile, I thought of importing just one of them to the Phils.  Here's some of the exchange I had with a customs agent about 20 years back (I tend to keep emails I find interesting):

The agent, right off, said:

>Importing a car in Manila, regardless of model and make, would entail a
>>huge amount of customs duty/tax most particularly if it is not a diplomatic
>>shipment.
>>Please provide car make and model to enable us to provide you a rough
>>estimate of duty/tax. Assuming it is 8-cyl with only 3 yrs of age, I would
>>suggest to forget about the idea as the amount of customs duty/tax is very
>>discouraging.

I persisted and was supplied with some detail about tax, so I sent this reply to the agent:

At 03:36 PM 8/16/99 PDT, you wrote:
>Dear Rodel: My calculations are as follows:
>  1996 purchase price = $54,000 Cdn. (P1,350,000)
>       less 10% 1st year  5,400 = $48,600
>         less 10% 2nd year          4,860 = $43,740
>           less 10% 3rd year                  4,374 = $39,366
>
>Tax = $39,366 x 1.5% = $590.49 (P14,762)
>
>This seems like very little. I suspect you meant to tell me the tax is 150%
>of the total, as follows: $39,366 x 150% = $59,049 (P1,476,225). That amount
>is definitely discouraging. The only other question is whether the 10% per
>year depreciation is calculated using what accountants call the "straight
>line" method, namely, $5,400 per year, instead of the "declining balance"
>method I have used above.

His reply:

My apologies for such a mistake. It should have been 150% of the net amount
after depreciation. Most likely duty/tax will be P 1.4M. You're pretty
close with your calculation.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

Thanks and best regards.

Rodel

That killed it.  I was not going to pay more in tax than the car was worth.  But, even if kings drive Vettes (I suspect they do better), I would have to abandon the notion of having one in the Phils.  Of course, I can accept that result, because I recognize the great impracticality of driving such a car there.  But I would have done it for my sweetie at the time, who considered that her celebrity status should allow her to be seen in Manila driving a Corvette.  While I was prepared to pay the cost of shipping and a reasonable amount of tax, I did not want to be so badly ripped off.  She said she would pay it from her earnings, but, happily, I talked her out of it. 



Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 25, 2018, 07:31:10 AM
If in the medium or upper income in the US,  the monthly cost of health care plan for a family can be getting close to the 3k range before medicare age.  That is 25 to 30k per year,  or 1.5M peso just to buy the insurance plus there is usually some deductible and co pay...   In lower income  can be less cost or at the lowest can be free.  Those expensive emergency operations are much cost more than in the Phills.

No way would I be paying for an individual policy.  No way.  I carried mine over from my employer.  My former employer pays for a portion of it.  I only had a couple of instances of claims so since I only ever got peanuts back, I switched to one of those high deductible plans with the built in health savings acoount.  With the exception of a big bill when my son was born (which I did not realize at the time I could use it for my wife and him too), our medical bills have been way below what the HSA accumulates.  The only thing is, now in a few months when I hit 65, I will lose that HSA.  Well, the capability for funds to be put in.  I can use what is still in there even after 65.  But at 65, from what I have gathered so far, it switches to some other type of health account which the only medical I can use it to pay for are costs incurred by only me and at the end of the year, the balance goes remaining goes away.  I am getting away with a very low insurance premium costs compared to what I have seen going around.  Other than of course, if I had stayed in the military.  I only did 6 but even then, later on I did 3 reserve and if I had done 5 more for a total of 8 and added to my active time, I could have been retired at 60 and not worry about have to be concerned about it so much.  Yeah, I will keep what I have until maybe the day comes that it will cost more than I am willing too pay.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 25, 2018, 07:48:47 AM

It's not so much about agriculture as it is about making things better instead of being distracted by entertainment. Or not caring at all. 

It's about readjusting yourself to derive more enjoyment from producing something versus consuming something.

Sometimes you write stuff that my pea brain can't handle but here is the jist.  I don't have room to do all the things I want at the current time.  It will take a little longer.  I want to eventually get out to the countryside not only so I can have a garden but for other things such as the fact that I like woodworking and have never really had time to get in to it enough to really enjoy it to it's fullest.  Yeah, I need room to build me a shop.  If I wanted I could take one good size room of my house, and close it off where I could do woodworking in there.  Not going to happen though.  I am stuck where I am right now because of my wife's business.  I am sure not rich but I am not poor either.  I put savings away all my working career and at the same time, since I was single, pretty much spent what I wanted on entertainment.  I still continue to put savings away but I more careful about entertainment.  So, I am not here where I am trying to do something with my life other than relax and enjoy it.  I am doing aok.  But, thanks for all your time spent on recommendations and possible solutions.

Edit by Steve: Fixed quote.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 08:10:24 AM
From the "Why?" thread:

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 believe a lot of it has something to do with things not going their way.  Mainly, something that is not for out here on one of the open boards but rather for the dark side.  Because it goes against their way of thinking and they are unable to express themselves on this side, they are not really (I don't think) but, sometimes appear to teetering on the edge of a cliff.   And it mostly involves the ones who think that the whole rest of the world (or a country) should only think like them and if they don't, then those people are wrong.  The sad thing is, when people get to this stage of their life you would think they would just suck it up and want to sit back, relax and enjoy the time they have left.

Sorry BudM, this thread has seen me become a member of the drama club.  Perhaps I should do the honorable thing and enter self-imposed exile.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: BudM on March 25, 2018, 08:11:59 AM
From the "Why?" thread:

Sorry BudM, this thread has seen me become a member of the drama club.  Perhaps I should do the honorable thing and enter self-imposed exile.

Nah man.  Don't do that.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 08:22:36 AM
How 'bout I submit to a public flogging instead?
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 25, 2018, 08:28:16 AM
Sometimes you write stuff that my pea brain can't handle

That dog don't hunt.  Do not sell yourself short. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxuMQGkzTW8)


public flogging

Not before a trial by your peers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmF_yXQkVh0)

Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 08:32:54 AM

Not before a trial by your peers. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmF_yXQkVh0)

Can't I just plead guilty and accept my sentence?

If not, can you say who will be the trial judge and outline the jury selection process?  Will I be granted some peremptory challenges?  Where will be the trial venue?  Lots to consider.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 25, 2018, 08:34:10 AM
Can't I just plead guilty and accept my sentence?

If not, can you say who will be the trial judge and outline the jury selection process?  Will I be granted some peremptory challenges?  Where will be the trial venue?  Lots to consider.
Your sentence is to adopt me. hehehehe  8)
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 08:36:36 AM
Your sentence is to adopt me. hehehehe  8)

Well son, welcome to the family!
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Lee2 on March 25, 2018, 08:46:40 AM
Well son, welcome to the family!
Lol, surely a fate worse than a flogging...  8)

Your post was fine, it just shows how different we all are and how differently each of us wishes to live, basically sort of what I have been writing for years.

My warnings to people new to the Philippines are just that, I have personally seen guys who are stuck here or who had gotten stuck here in the past and it always hurts me to have to see or to have seen them suffering first hand. I am happy with the decisions my wife and I have made and how we live our life, I always hope everyone else can also be happy with how they live their lives.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on March 25, 2018, 09:06:22 AM
Can't I just plead guilty and accept my sentence?

No.  If you weigh as much as a duck we have to burn you.  Somebody get the large set of scales.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on March 25, 2018, 01:15:12 PM
No.  If you weigh as much as a duck we have to burn you.  Somebody get the large set of scales.

I fear not.  I am just a hummingbird!
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: clarkee on August 26, 2019, 10:31:12 AM
Just want to check I'm reading that right....$7,000 per month in the 1990's in a house that you owned, so no rent.  No idea what the $ exchange rate was back then, but that seems a helluva lot. At todays rate that is more than P365,000 per month, I seriously doubt there are many here with that sort of monthly budget, not me for sure.  We live very well on P80k per month in Davao city.
I was thinking the same thing!  With that kind of money my little butt would of stayed in the Southern US where I am now and I would live like a king. Wonder what kind of job he had?
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: User444 on August 26, 2019, 02:14:23 PM


Given the nature of her trade, we tended to live a bit of a different lifestyle.  We usually had 2 or 3 maids living in and a driver and his wife living in.  In fact, looking back, I am probably being conservative in saying our burn rate was about $7,000 a month. 
Wow! Spending $7,000 USD per month in the PH is king-like. I never even earned that much per month in the States. You went from Canada to Los Angeles, to the Philippines, and back to Canada. You said your wife was a singer/entertainer? What did you do? 
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on August 27, 2019, 01:14:08 AM
Wow! Spending $7,000 USD per month in the PH is king-like. I never even earned that much per month in the States. You went from Canada to Los Angeles, to the Philippines, and back to Canada. You said your wife was a singer/entertainer? What did you do?

Perhaps best not to re-open the debate about what constitutes king-like, but I'll grant that even in Metro Manila, it's quite comfortable.

As for how I have earned my living, I have always worked as an attorney. I still do.  Happily, with the advent of the internet, I figured out how to be an online attorney.  It does not pay as well as working in a downtown office in a big city, but I don't miss that at all.  It pays reasonably well, my time is entirely flexible, I can work from anywhere in the world, and my overhead amounts to no more than the cost of a computer and internet access, which I would pay for anyway.  I no longer put in as many hours a week working.  But I keep up some work as a form of brain exercise.  It may have no effect, and I cannot cite any medical authority for this, but my own belief is that being required on a regular basis to really have to focus one's thoughts on a matter will help stave off things like Alzheimer's disease.  So, unlike most today, who start in their 20s to to look for ways to "retire" as soon as possible, I am quite content to never retire, not because I need the income, but because I like what I do and I believe it has benefits beyond a paycheck.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Hestecrefter on August 27, 2019, 01:17:35 AM
Time for a long overdue corrigendum:

Hestercrefter I never said I spend php 48K on food.  We do spend a lot more than most Filipinos due since I like good food.  t

Sorry Chuck.  Quite right.  I misspoke.  I meant to refer to kuya Art:

The only huge monthly expense is our grocery bill of P48,000. My wife buys alot of imported stuff that your average budget minded Filipino would steer away from.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: lost_in_samoa on August 27, 2019, 02:23:03 AM
I keep up some work as a form of brain exercise.  It may have no effect, and I cannot cite any medical authority for this, but my own belief is that being required on a regular basis to really have to focus one's thoughts on a matter will help stave off things like Alzheimer's disease.  So, unlike most today, who start in their 20s to to look for ways to "retire" as soon as possible, I am quite content to never retire, not because I need the income, but because I like what I do and I believe it has benefits beyond a paycheck.

You put that very well.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: User444 on August 27, 2019, 05:06:46 AM
Happily, with the advent of the internet, I figured out how to be an online attorney. It may have no effect, and I cannot cite any medical authority for this, but my own belief is that being required on a regular basis to really have to focus one's thoughts on a matter will help stave off things like Alzheimer's disease.  So, unlike most today, who start in their 20s to to look for ways to "retire" as soon as possible, I am quite content to never retire, not because I need the income, but because I like what I do and I believe it has benefits beyond a paycheck.
Agreed. Have to keep the brain active. Online work is the way to go. Thank you for the information.
Title: Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
Post by: Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am on September 05, 2019, 04:57:56 PM
Time for a long overdue corrigendum:

Sorry Chuck.  Quite right.  I misspoke.  I meant to refer to kuya Art:
Just an update, our present monthly grocery budget is now P60,000, since my wife's entire family of 5 are temporarily living with us in our small home. We live in a very expensive area in a modern province suburb of Laguna, where price of everything are ridiculous.