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Old 05-28-2018, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
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A friend of mine is going too move from Tennessee to the Philippines. He heard it is a cheap place to live. How cheap is it?

Thanks
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Elysium
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Ball park figure about 50% of the US cost of living. Now if you are living in a luxury condo, a citizen spouse can buy into a gated community renting an estate or spending the retirement on resort islands scuba diving, have a large local family well double a middle class stateside asset base still leave you in a Filipino middle class and there are drawbacks
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:14 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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Thereís a mythology out there that living in the Philippines is cheaper than the US. Itís not especially if you want to maintain a typical back home middle class lifestyle. American food prices are much higher than back home with the exception of alcohol.

Are you prepared to eat Philippine food every day? Itís mainly greasy fried chicken, pork and dried fish with rice. Can you afford to go without air conditioning with temps in the 90 degree range almost all year. Unless you have deep pockets for private healthcare medical care is subpar.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:44 AM
 
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The Philippines is cheap by American cost of living standards, because people also earn so much less. The minimum wage is US$10 a day (per 8 hours) or even less outside of Metro Manila.


As with any other countries, if you don't adapt, then you have to pay more. Depends on what qualifies as "American food". If you're talking about McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday's, Denny's, etc., they're definitely much more expensive than local fare, but are still generally cheaper compared to most cities in the US. Starbucks is almost same price as US, and classified as very expensive and are patronized only by the upper class.


Healthcare can be expensive but it's still overall much cheaper compared to most other countries (except those with universal free healthcare). The US can claim as having the world's "best" healthcare but also one of the most unaffordable. One can get chest pains, go to the ER, get some lab tests and consult a cardiologist to confirm that there's nothing to worry about, and pay $150 in total without insurance in the Philippines (from a decent hospital, a very nice lab and a good cardiologist). How much will that cost in the US?


Except in highland areas, it is hot and muggy most days of the year. Power rates are not that low. Locals cool off at the mall or other places with free air conditioning. You can do the same. And really depends how you budget. There's never any need to get an air heater, never any need to shovel snow, etc. Hollywood movies (sometimes even released earlier than the US) are shown in theaters with very nice AC, and movie tickets cost like $5. For theaters with a wide reclining seat, a bowl of popcorn and a drink, the movie ticket is $8. Absolutely no difference from US theaters. Hollywood movies are shown with original audio, no dubbing whatsoever and without any subtitles in another language.


Other things that Americans will find frustrating is the extremely slow government services, inefficient infrastructure such as roads full of potholes, etc. If you come from the US, people might think you're a walking ATM, because the rates you are giving are overly generous compared to what people are used to. Waiters will probably kowtow if you give them $3 for serving a $20 meal. Taxi and Grab (successor of Uber) drivers will thank you very very much if you give $2 extra for the short ride. The longer one stays in the Philippines, one might start complaining that these unscrupulous taxi drivers are illegally charging you $5 instead of the $3 fare that is the rightful and legal rate they are entitled to.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Florida & Cebu, Philippines
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I suggest he do his research as to where he will wish to live in the Philippines, some places can be less expensive than some places within the U.S. but at the same time, some items can cost much more than places within the U.S., for example, senior condos in Florida will cost much less than buying or even renting a condo or apartment in cities in most area of the Philippines, if size is taken into account. I have read and have met expats who move into 30 sq meter condos or smaller (around 330 sq feet) and then say it cost less than living in the home or apartment they had back in the U.S. that was many times larger, so yes a 30 sq meter condo can rent for $250 to $600 a month depending on location and quality of the building, whereas houses outside the cities will be less expensive to rent, yet again the size or the rooms in most houses in the Philippines will be much smaller than U.S. homes.

Labor, cable TV, street vendor foods, water both drinking and tap, property taxes, taxis and most other public transportation are examples of items that are less expensive while living in the Philippines, whereas electric cost around 22 cents per kwh and up, so compare that to where he lives, in Florida we pay half of that, in LI NY it cost around the same.

My wife who is a former Philippine citizen (I mention that since we do not need visas to stay up to one year, thus less cost) and myself live 3 to 4 months a year in our condo in Cebu City, Philippines, the items I listed above balance our costs for us out so that I would say it cost us around the same as when we are in Florida living around the same as Florida (except for in a much smaller condo when there) since shopping in Florida cost us much less for most items including but not limited to electronics, clothing, meds, etc, since foods in supermarkets that we are used to eating in the U.S. cost more or the same in the Philippines and as mention by someone else, eating out in places like back home usually cost more or the same while in the Philippines.

One cost we do not have is visas which your friend needs to look into, he can stay as a tourist and pay to stay up to 36 months renewing every 2 to 6 months and then have to leave, or he can get an SRRV which would allow him to stay forever or if he marries a local lady then she could apply for a 13a for him which again would allow him to stay forever, when visa costs are added in and a trip out every 36 months, then costs go up as do when health insurance of around $1200 to $1500 a year are added in and anyone over 70 cannot get health insurance and insurance will usually not cover previous conditions and all related to them, so a person with high blood pressure will likely not be covered for the whole circulatory system, yet, if your friend learns his way around before he may have health issues, then a stay in a hospital and treatment will likely cost 1/10 of what one in the U.S. would cost without insurance, except that in the Philippines there will be no freebies, usually if you do not have health insurance or money or a cc upon check in, then they would might let a person die rather than treat them, a guy I read about on a forum about living in the Philippines tried to check his wife in when she was having a miscarriage in the middle of the night and he had to run around to ATM machines to get cash because they would not treat her at all without cash up front, just one of the pitfalls of living in the Philippines that should be taken into account.

IMO and from what I have personally seen, the main reason men move to the Philippines is for the women not the lower costs and if those men wish to go native then yes they can live for much less, otherwise IMO and from my experience of living in the Philippines part time for the last 24 years, they best look into everything they have back home and decide what they can do without before thinking about living in the Philippines.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:27 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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The OP doesn't make it clear how he intends to finance his move to the Philippines. Most Americans there are retired with some kind of pension and or investment income.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
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This friend has a big saving in his bank that he would live on. He has Social Security and U.S. VA hospital care and he's been a big tight wad and can eat anything and live without air conditioning. He doesn't even have ceiling fans in his house. He loves the heat and hates the winter's in Tennessee.
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Old 05-30-2018, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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The lowering of the fertility rate around the world will one day make these cheap places more and more expensive. As low fertility rate countries get more and more desperate for help, with good pay, why should a low-paid Filipino stay in the Philippines and not elect to make more $$ elsewhere? And those ex-pat Americans, well they can just cook their own meals, clean their own houses and do their own landscaping.

I work with a number of Filipino's and they dream of the cheap life they'll live in retirement in the Philippines, but many are in for a rude awakening!
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Florida & Cebu, Philippines
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
This friend has a big saving in his bank that he would live on. He has Social Security and U.S. VA hospital care and he's been a big tight wad and can eat anything and live without air conditioning. He doesn't even have ceiling fans in his house. He loves the heat and hates the winter's in Tennessee.
No VA hospital care there but I believe he can use Tricare reimbursement for medical, something he might wish to look in to.

Since he will eat almost anything and needs no a/c then he will likely do well there, yet the pollution without the a/c to filter it gets to my lungs whenever I am there, I would recommend that he buy a home filter and run that if he is in one city areas that has heavy pollution.

I wish him the best of luck, the Philippines is a beautiful country and the people for the most part are very warm, friendly and accepting and some of the women hitting on us all the time sure pumps our ego, yet one should never forget that the reason many of them hit on us is that those that do, see dollar signs when they see us, yet find the right one who is interested in us for us and marry her and life is wonderful.
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Elysium
6,580 posts, read 3,634,743 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
The lowering of the fertility rate around the world will one day make these cheap places more and more expensive. As low fertility rate countries get more and more desperate for help, with good pay, why should a low-paid Filipino stay in the Philippines and not elect to make more $$ elsewhere? And those ex-pat Americans, well they can just cook their own meals, clean their own houses and do their own landscaping.

I work with a number of Filipino's and they dream of the cheap life they'll live in retirement in the Philippines, but many are in for a rude awakening!
Landscaping? If you leave some land around you in a city some squatter will set up a leanto and a car will try to get parked right next to it. Okay that was mean but you have no ideal how many excess workers there are in the Philippines. Even with the many local heroes braving employers treating them as sex slaves from the Arab world to Hong Kong.

That the OFW is described as a hero to the Republic and not just ignored should point out that while the world may be recruiting for more and the nation appreciates the money remitted back that there are still excess workers manning every display rack in a local department store for instance. The question is how far does a pension go? For most getting that teenager who can't get to a college as a senior citizen's aid is and will be doable.
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