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Author Topic: Cost of living, don't be fooled  (Read 26854 times)

Offline bigrod

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #60 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
Life is  to short not to live it right the first time

Offline BudM

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #61 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.
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Offline bigrod

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #62 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
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Offline Lee2

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #63 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. 
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.

Offline Art, just a re(tired) Fil-Am

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #64 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.     
"Life is what we all make it to be"!
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Offline FastWalk

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #65 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.
Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Offline FastWalk

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #66 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.



Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #67 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.

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

balcony farming

balcony aquaponics

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.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 04:48:36 AM by lost_in_samoa »

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #68 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

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. 




Offline BudM

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #69 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.
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Offline BudM

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #70 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.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 10:14:42 AM by Steve & Myrlita »
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #71 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.

Offline BudM

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #72 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.
Whatever floats your boat.

Offline Hestecrefter

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #73 on: March 25, 2018, 08:22:36 AM »
How 'bout I submit to a public flogging instead?

Offline lost_in_samoa

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Re: Cost of living, don't be fooled
« Reply #74 on: March 25, 2018, 08:28:16 AM »