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Old 05-12-2014, 06:23 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,235,343 times
Reputation: 1944


What Would You Do In My Situation?

Well, itís still hard to find employment if youíre LTU, like in these posts from comments on a web page:

joe101553 1 hour ago
I'm a 40-year educated and very qualified Design Engineer who has spent most of the last 5 1/2 years unemployed. I'm also not shacking up with anyone and unable to live off their income. I've wasted enough of my time writing to various congressmen, senators and governors looking for a favor. Funny...I never heard back from any of them; even my own Congressman (Eric Cantor). The thought never crossed my mind...but maybe I should have considered writing to the stooge (Obama). I'll bet he would have had great compassion for me and addressed my circumstance. Perhaps I should reconsider...

Kathy 1 hour ago
My husband has been out of work for 4 years. He applies for everything he can find but they keep saying he is over-qualified or doesn't have the adequete skills. A lot of people aren't hiring because they don't want to supply health insurance. Most have started just hiring part-time so they are not obligated to supply benefits.

My Escape Plan If I Need It

This is still a bad Jobs Market. And terrible things has happened to me Ė my mom died of pancreatic cancer quickly. That means $4198 less monthly, and my mom had a Trust setup but the big unfortunate thing was that the assets should be divided 50% me, 40% my brother, and 10% my aunt. But I guess that means the house that I live in rent free has to be sold. I might get $300,000 of it but that goes into a Trust that my brother will handle and he claims that I canít afford to buy a 2168 sq ft $120,000 Houston home with that. My brother turned out to be a mean greedy total control bastard after my momís death, and he often threatens me that he will quit managing the Trust and just hand it over to Northern Trust Bank which will suck out $12,000 a year to manage my Trust. My brother is kicking me out of the house quickly, I have to pack up my stuff in storage and be out by June 30, 2014. Never gave me a year to sell my possessions, womenís clothes, and bicycles in order to live in less space.

When my mom died, my brother told me to take a vacation in the Philippines until April 22, 2014. He promised not to touch my stuff or pack things. I witnessed my momís burial in Pampanga, and I never thought that day would come so soon. But my brother broke his promise and he flew to Chicago and packed nearly all of my womenís clothes and bikes into storage. And he wouldnít give me the key to the storage place either. I changed my flight ticket to arrive April 2, and when my brother initially heard of this he threatened to lock me out of the house and change the house locks. He falsely claimed my possessions were all $122,000 of my momís money. Unfortunately he got my momís diary and used her exaggerations against me. He started on an email campaign to defame me to the other Trust members so they would abandon me to his control. Only when Mr. Bitterman, our Trust Lawyer Ė kept getting a copy of these emails he told Angel to stop, and that he had no right to my possessions. He correctly stated that I should be in charge of packing my stuff.

My brother thinks that since he is such a successful Sr Process Eng that he makes all the right decisionsÖ I hate him. That he would control my Trust and that I would never live in a big house is terrible, unless I earn my own money to buy a house. Itís a tragedy too, because around Oct 2013 I was about to sink all my money into Netflix at around $56. It went all the way up to $450 recently. I could have bought a house on my $10,000 in Scottrade if I invested on margin on Netflix.

Anyway, if I canít make a living in America my escape plan is to live in our $18,000 home in the Philippines. Itís very cheap to live there. The house was built on my Uncleís Property, which has tiny property taxes because itís categorized as undeveloped or so, or maybe they bribed the right official. My dad is taken care of his Sr Citizen Care there with two full time maids. We pay them $10 / day for 24hr care which is the going rate for a maid in the Philippines. His expenses are paid for by his land investment which was sold and is in a BPI Bank account. I also send home money from his American Pension when needed.
Iíve included several pics of our small home in Quezon City. I had one room to myself, but the bed had no mattress. It was just a 37 inch wide wood frame covered by a blanket. No mattress in case of flooding. No A/C in the house either. But when I left, the hot weather was really hot starting April, which is the hottest month of the year there. I really needed A/C then, - I took a bath at 7 pm, and when I dressed in a new shirt I sweated and nearly fully wet the shirt after a shower. There are also lots of mosquitos that sneak in. Before we go to bed we kill them all quickly with a tennis racket like electric mosquito killer. A cheap 180 peso device that has a built in rechargeable battery. Electricity in Quezon City is 12.44 pesos / kwhr Ė about US 25 cents / kwhr Ė expensive! So mostly people live without A/C, especially the poor. Internet is also expensive Ė 1000 pesos / month = 3 MBPS download speed, 2000 pesos / month = 5 MBPS download speed. Our house also has no hot water heater.

So I vacationed there for 7 weeks, and I kept a good account of every expense. Itís cheap to go to a dentist or Dr there. A dentist filled up two of my cracked teeth for 700 pesos [ $15.73 ]. I saw a foot dr / dermatologist for my cracked skin / hard skin big toe problem Ė 500 pesos. For 1 month, I ate good home cooking or ate out at any good fast food anytime that I wanted Ė it totaled to be about 11,700 pesos or $265 / month Ė mostly eating out. But I did buy a great hand wash 3 pc skirt pants suit there for 5000 pesos.

So now, if the economy in America is still terrible and itís hard to get a job, possibly all of my stuff could be put into a 10 x 8 x 20 storage space for $160 a month. My neighbor Ritchie will watch and move my parked car and minivan on my block, for $15/ month. So maybe I can live in the Philippines totally on my SSDI for 8 months at a time while I wait for the economy to get better.

Trouble is, I have no work capability there unless I make money through the internet. I donít know how to make money in the Philippines, but a 6 year experienced Sr Mech Eng in the Philippines makes less than my US SSDI payment of $1171 / month! Itís not worth working in the Philippines if I get paid less than 45,000 pesos [$1000] / month for full time work. Iíll try to get remote internet work through Craigslist, internet freelancing, web blogs, or whateverÖ Anyone have ideas to suggest to me to make money while living in a foreign country? Just google the average salary of Filipinos there!
How much money do people in the Philippines make?

The food has good and bad points. I ate a two sausage, two egg, one cup of fried rice and small bowl of soup breakfast for 70 pesos at the market. A Robinsons red longaniza is 11.5 pesos each, eggs are 6 pesos each. So you can have a home cooked 3 longaniza 2 egg meal + rice for maybe 68 pesos costs? The orange juice there is imported and costly. There are no gallon milks there, but my chocolate milk quarts [?] these cost 63 pesos. They have a poor selection of breakfast cereals in the grocery stores, and maybe people rarely eat breakfast cereals there because maybe all the milk is imported from Australia. Likewise orange juice is expensive and imported Ė Florida Natural cost twice there per carton vs US prices. I miss Ben & Jerryís Ice Cream there too. You make do with the local fast food and grocery which is adequate enough, but I like American fast food and groceries better. The Philippine grocery ice creams selection isnít as good as America, but at least they have Magnum there too and itís cheaper there. But the fast food meals there are good and cheap. Good filling meals are from 60 to 180 pesos.

The shopping has greatly improved since my visits in 2004 and 2010. I was just there Feb to April 2, 2014, and I shopped frequently at SM North Edsa, which was a 9.8 minute bike ride away from me. I also went to SM MegaMall and SM Fairview and Robinsons Galleria and Greenhills Mall. At Greenhills Mall I got a counterfeit Michael Kors wallet there for 650 pesos Ė the real ones cost $160 on the web here! You canít buy a 30 inch 2560 x 1600 monitor there. Windows 7 Professional would cost $200. You canít get a nice cheap PC gaming wheel like the Thrustmaster Ferrari GT Experience $40 wheel here in America! Video game peripheral choices are pathetic. If you go to SM Shopping Malls they have no free water outlets to drink water, and their toilets for men have no rim seats. You also have to buy your own toilet paper there. PC shopping isnít as good as Americaís.

Since I wonít work there I donít need a car. Jeepneys are very cheap Ė 8 pesos a ride, and taxiís go far for cheap too. Why get a car when 5 qts of 20W50 synthetic motor oil costs $73? But the MRT Train during rush hour in Manila is pathetic Ė very long lines waiting for a train ride, I should have taken a picture of them!

The Eveready Rechargeable battery charger there cost $43!

Well, since our house in Quezon City is small I donít have space for many possessions there. I have to sell a lot of my bikes and womenís clothes to ship just a few of my best stuff there. I would pay my cousin $4000 to build a storage hut there, maybe 20 x 12 x 20 feet tall [2 story].

So how about you? If you were in my position, nearly 6 years unemployed, trying to get a Mech Eng, Mech Designer, CAD, or Tech Writer job, - and itís still hard to get one Ė would you live in the Philippines like I could rent free for 8 month or retire there forever and have a wife and two kids on $1171 - $123 = 46845 pesos per month?

The pics are of our small $18,000 house built Oct 2006. That's where I would live with my dad, two maids, and my aunt.
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:17 PM
Location: Gatineau, QC, Canada
3,402 posts, read 4,467,844 times
Reputation: 4413
I can't believe I read all of that. You should compress it by at least half, and you'll get a lot more hits.

I don't understand something though. You have experience as an engineer and can't find work in the USA? Are you willing to live outside the Chicago (or whichever city it was) area?

Would you enjoy living in The Philipines?
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:28 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,235,343 times
Reputation: 1944
If I lived in the Philippines I don't know how to work there. I'd try my stuff doing remote internet / freelancing work. It feels very boring just loafing off of SSDI and not working. Granted, my 45,000 pesos per month SSDI allowance is more than what many Filipinos make there. But I can enjoy great food there and eat very well.

I would get bored just going out, doing grocery, eating fast food, and going to the mall. Maybe I should date a girl though.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:10 PM
3,644 posts, read 9,036,531 times
Reputation: 1807
I didn't read the whole thing but 45,000 peso per month is enough to live a good life in Manila, especially considering that you don't have to pay rent. Even if you were getting that much money and still paying rent, you could still live a pretty good life
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:38 AM
665 posts, read 592,889 times
Reputation: 729
As someone who has spent the last 13 years of my life living in Asia as an expat, I've met many different types of people. Many people come to Asia as an "escape", but perhaps you need to look at yourself in the mirror and make some changes within yourself. I'm very sorry about your mother and your family situation. I know we all have hurdles along the way, but my suggestion would be to make some serious changes in your life instead of running away from things. You haven't worked full time in over 5 years. Really? You have an engineering degree yet you couldn't find work in the U.S. Something sounds strange right there. Secondly, if I were you I would start searching for jobs in perhaps China, or other more developed Asian cities. Philippines is not the place for a middle aged engineer to look for work. Your only 40 years old dude. You need to find a job that pays well and I would look into China. Many U.S. companies looking for engineering talent. Asia sounds like a good place for you to get ahead in life and improve on your current conditions. Put some time and work into a job search and I'm sure things will get better. God Bless and stay positive.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:09 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,235,343 times
Reputation: 1944
It seems this is my destiny. I can't find a job in the USA. Living in the Philippines is my last resort.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:26 PM
Location: Czech Republic
2,384 posts, read 5,875,986 times
Reputation: 798
I think there are many Filipino engineers and architects in China. Funny, it has a big population yet they still hire Filipino engineers and architects.
Also, try the middle East. Filipino engineers are flooding the middle east.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:24 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,235,343 times
Reputation: 1944
I'm mostly a Product Design Engineer. Most of those jobs are in America.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:32 PM
Location: Jersey
2,303 posts, read 3,410,865 times
Reputation: 2040
If you haven't been employed in some time in your field and you are reseaking entry into it... design a few products/come up with some ideas, get a patent if applicable, and take a laptop to interviews and offer to give them a presentation of your products/ideas. I'm not sure if you've tried this already, but employers want to see that you would be able to provide tangible results. Otherwise, there is the option of doing "freelance"/contract work or starting your own business.

Last edited by TylerJAX; 06-05-2014 at 07:48 PM..
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:21 PM
Location: Wicker Park, Chicago
4,791 posts, read 13,235,343 times
Reputation: 1944
I'm trying not to jeopardize my SSDI while living in the Philippines. If I do remote work and make too much freelancing, and if I get paid by Paypal - then my earnings will be reported to the US Gov and I could lose my precious SSDI.

So I can't make too much money freelancing and through Paypal. So maybe I have to earn only $590 / month max. Or get paid by check.
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