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Old 02-14-2017, 11:03 PM
 
14,260 posts, read 23,991,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
My brother is retiring to the Philippines in March because of limited funds. He finally sold his house and will be living on the less than $100K equity and early social security - is just starting the VISA application process. Originally he took vacations to the Philippines and to Thailand scouting out retirement destinations because both were affordable and preferred the Philippines. I hope it works out for him although I expect that he could be back in the US in a few years as his health is not good and could deteriorate.

My brother plans to live in sort of an American expat enclave and wants to travel some around the Philippines and in nearby countries. The food is supposed to be primarily fish, rice, and vegetables and not be that tasty so maybe he can lose some weight and improve his health. He worked in the Caribbean and in the Middle East for a few years and likes hot climates. So this is not a completely new experience.

No offense, but if your brother has taken the time to review the number of YouTube channels written by US and British expats, he would know that the Philippines is NOT a very good place for those with significant health issues. Besides the tropical climate that MOST from the US find to be very oppressive, the medical facilities that are "low cost" are very substandard (i.e., you bring your own bed linens, food, medications and the like). Private hospitals are lot better BUT they are not particularly inexpensive. And in the Philippines, they do NOT release you from the hospital until you have paid the full bill.

As for the healthiness of the Filipino diet, many of the dishes are high fat and in many cases, vegetables are not served as often they are in the US. One of my former employees in the Manila area sent me the latest culinaria written by Filipino chefs in the Manila area and I did not find the recipes to be as healthy as the books I have received from Thailand.

I would STRONGLY recommend that your brother develop an EXIT PLAN and a very significant emergency fund in case he needs to evacuate the Philippines due to emergency. There are literally HUNDREDS of broke Americans and Brits living on the streets of large cities in the Philippines because the money ran out. Don't expect to find a lot of social services as the social services are pretty limited for the citizens much less foreigners.

When I retired, I had a number of accountants working for me in Manila. Over my last week or so, nearly everyone called me wishing me the best. When they called, I would tell them that I was thinking about moving to the Philippines as a retiree. I got two responses. Most of them said, "Are you loco??" Two of them asked me if I was willing to trade my condo for the place that they were living.
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Old 02-15-2017, 03:48 AM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,187 posts, read 1,443,736 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
No offense, but if your brother has taken the time to review the number of YouTube channels written by US and British expats, he would know that the Philippines is NOT a very good place for those with significant health issues. Besides the tropical climate that MOST from the US find to be very oppressive, the medical facilities that are "low cost" are very substandard (i.e., you bring your own bed linens, food, medications and the like). Private hospitals are lot better BUT they are not particularly inexpensive. And in the Philippines, they do NOT release you from the hospital until you have paid the full bill.

As for the healthiness of the Filipino diet, many of the dishes are high fat and in many cases, vegetables are not served as often they are in the US. One of my former employees in the Manila area sent me the latest culinaria written by Filipino chefs in the Manila area and I did not find the recipes to be as healthy as the books I have received from Thailand.

I would STRONGLY recommend that your brother develop an EXIT PLAN and a very significant emergency fund in case he needs to evacuate the Philippines due to emergency. There are literally HUNDREDS of broke Americans and Brits living on the streets of large cities in the Philippines because the money ran out. Don't expect to find a lot of social services as the social services are pretty limited for the citizens much less foreigners.

When I retired, I had a number of accountants working for me in Manila. Over my last week or so, nearly everyone called me wishing me the best. When they called, I would tell them that I was thinking about moving to the Philippines as a retiree. I got two responses. Most of them said, "Are you loco??" Two of them asked me if I was willing to trade my condo for the place that they were living.
I think the Phils offers the opportunity to spend less but you will also get less quality with that. There are also good quality available at less than US prices. The same goes for diet, you can eat a good diet if you focus on the right foods but I agree the Filipino diet is not particularly a healthy one.


I have also seen guys that went to Phils and Thailand that ran out of cash and it's sad, most of them are alcoholics or sex addicts.


If you're smart, can control your urges, and make the right friends, you can live a great life there at a reduced cost. If I wasn't married, I would consider it as well as Thailand and Vietnam.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:18 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,910 posts, read 1,588,036 times
Reputation: 7952
I've looked at both countries for retirement & visited often over a 20 year period & the only advantages I see in the Philippines is the wide understanding of the english language & a culture that is very warm & friendly to Americans, but in every other respect Thailand leads. There are western expat communities in Hua Hin & Chaing Mai where one could coast along surrounded by western expats without knowing the language & the medical facilities in Bangkok for major trauma are top notch. And the Thai food...

There are quite a few retired Americans, mostly ex-servicemen, in the PH with US social organizations geared to them, etc...

But it really is up to the individual what they find more agreeable & the language issue is a disproportionately big one. Either place one can live ok on $1500/mo. For me the heat/humidity is a deal breaker but if I too was in real financial straits in retirement I might jump over as well.

BTW I would also consider Malaysia in this decision which has a very nice structured retirement package for expats (there may be a minimum income retirement though), English is widely understood & has a large expat retiree population mostly from Britain/Australia. Penang would be my choice there.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:40 AM
 
12,700 posts, read 14,077,853 times
Reputation: 34805
Quote:
Originally Posted by American Expat View Post
....
I have also seen guys that went to Phils and Thailand that ran out of cash and it's sad, most of them are alcoholics or sex addicts. ...
You can see so much of this in Florida that I would not consider it to be a special problem relative to the Philippines or Thailand . And they haven't even run out of cash to use as an excuse!
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Old 02-15-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: equator
3,442 posts, read 1,532,968 times
Reputation: 8551
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsflyer View Post
I think most people want to move because they cant afford to live in the USA, you have to work like a dog in your old age just to keep up with the taxes. Let alone if you still have a mortgage you are paying through the nose for.


Its just too expensive for a lot of people to live in the USA. I am guessing a lot of people don't want to leave but they also don't want to keep working until they are dead or retire on the cat food budget.

Exactly this. We would not have left the U.S. if money were not an issue. We wanted to retire on the beach and there was nowhere in the U.S. we found to do that. Our jobs were physical and we aged out of them. Growing up and living mostly in the SW deserts, it was a hard transition to the high humidity. We spent a year in Coastal TX and it was even more humid there.


It's a trade-off, no denying that. Just came back from bouncing around on pot-holed narrow dirt streets, spending hours going from one literal hole-in-the-wall "Ferriteria" (hardware) store to another. They are about 10' wide and you stand on the sidewalk (if there is one), ordering over a counter, stepping over near-dead feral dogs, and they probably don't have what you need, if they are even open. It might be siesta. Now we will have to drive 2 hrs. to a bigger city for some photo-sensors.


I sat in our friends' air-conditioned van (we don't have a car) in front of the Ferriteria, for the first time thinking I missed the U.S. and Home Depot, jumping into our SUV to take a road trip on great interstates, feeling relatively safe and autonomous. Being able to freely communicate.


I'm glad we did it. We are pleased with our choice, looking out over the crashing surf right now. But eyes open as you plan.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:32 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
78,709 posts, read 70,554,766 times
Reputation: 76668
Quote:
Originally Posted by austinaggie View Post
Just nosing around this forum and this thread caught my eye. Have you looked into Antigua Guatemala? Retiring to a third world country is not my preference but I have been to Antigua and I could definitely see it being a nice place to retire.
Antigua only works during calm periods in Guatemala. One never knows when there will be more upheaval. I wouldn't pin my long-term retirement hopes on that country. The people who did that back in the 60's and 70's had rude awakenings, and bailed in the 80's.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,660 posts, read 1,525,009 times
Reputation: 3640
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
No offense, but if your brother has taken the time to review the number of YouTube channels written by US and British expats, he would know that the Philippines is NOT a very good place for those with significant health issues. Besides the tropical climate that MOST from the US find to be very oppressive, the medical facilities that are "low cost" are very substandard (i.e., you bring your own bed linens, food, medications and the like). Private hospitals are lot better BUT they are not particularly inexpensive. And in the Philippines, they do NOT release you from the hospital until you have paid the full bill.

As for the healthiness of the Filipino diet, many of the dishes are high fat and in many cases, vegetables are not served as often they are in the US. One of my former employees in the Manila area sent me the latest culinaria written by Filipino chefs in the Manila area and I did not find the recipes to be as healthy as the books I have received from Thailand.

I would STRONGLY recommend that your brother develop an EXIT PLAN and a very significant emergency fund in case he needs to evacuate the Philippines due to emergency. There are literally HUNDREDS of broke Americans and Brits living on the streets of large cities in the Philippines because the money ran out. Don't expect to find a lot of social services as the social services are pretty limited for the citizens much less foreigners.

When I retired, I had a number of accountants working for me in Manila. Over my last week or so, nearly everyone called me wishing me the best. When they called, I would tell them that I was thinking about moving to the Philippines as a retiree. I got two responses. Most of them said, "Are you loco??" Two of them asked me if I was willing to trade my condo for the place that they were living.
My brother lives in Houston so is used to heat and humidity. He is almost 65 years old and super obese, has some mobility problems, and gets short-winded by exertion (e.g. walking a couple of blocks). Otherwise his health is not that bad yet (e.g., no diabetes, no diagnosed heart disease) but I can’t imagine he won’t have significant problems in the future. I must have been misinformed about the Filipino diet which is disappointing because my brother will choose the high fat foods over the healthy choices. But it is his life and he sees this as his last chance for an adventure and to see the world. If he runs out of money he has social security and my family would assist him to come back to the states if needed. I am also concerned that he will make the wrong friends and end up with a drinking problem or get ripped off. But I also suspect my brother will get tired of the inconveniences and want to come back after a few years if not forced to by medical problems.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 02-15-2017 at 08:16 PM..
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Old 02-15-2017, 08:57 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
13,666 posts, read 8,577,038 times
Reputation: 19867
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbBr View Post
My husband and I have been checking different areas to see where we might be able to retire outside the US but it seems they have such high income restrictions (and/or other restrictions) that we won't qualify since we won't be working. We were looking into Canada and the UK. Does anyone have any suggestions? Would love to hear from others that have made the move.

Thanks so much for any input.
Belize is a good option. They don't require much.
And when I visited Barbados I found that they welcome retired Americans.

But most countries that I know of (New Zealand; Bahamas) want proof of about $500,000 in order to reside permanently.
Bermuda won't accept you at all.
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,737,509 times
Reputation: 32304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sand&Salt View Post
Exactly this. We would not have left the U.S. if money were not an issue. We wanted to retire on the beach and there was nowhere in the U.S. we found to do that. .................


I'm glad we did it. We are pleased with our choice, looking out over the crashing surf right now. But eyes open as you plan.
You made the choice that was right for you and I don't see how anyone could quarrel with it.

But you quoted (with approval) a post which stated that many people cannot afford to retire in the U.S. But it seems, if I understand correctly, that you could have afforded to retire in the U.S., but you "wanted to retire on the beach". HUGE DIFFERENCE. Almost like saying "we wanted to retire to New York City".

You had a very special requirement which happens to be extremely expensive (nothing wrong with that) and you solved the dilemma by retiring abroad (nothing wrong with that either). But let's not say that the USA is too expensive, based on your own case.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:52 PM
 
Location: Western Asia
3,187 posts, read 1,443,736 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
I've looked at both countries for retirement & visited often over a 20 year period & the only advantages I see in the Philippines is the wide understanding of the english language & a culture that is very warm & friendly to Americans, but in every other respect Thailand leads. There are western expat communities in Hua Hin & Chaing Mai where one could coast along surrounded by western expats without knowing the language & the medical facilities in Bangkok for major trauma are top notch. And the Thai food...

There are quite a few retired Americans, mostly ex-servicemen, in the PH with US social organizations geared to them, etc...

But it really is up to the individual what they find more agreeable & the language issue is a disproportionately big one. Either place one can live ok on $1500/mo. For me the heat/humidity is a deal breaker but if I too was in real financial straits in retirement I might jump over as well.

BTW I would also consider Malaysia in this decision which has a very nice structured retirement package for expats (there may be a minimum income retirement though), English is widely understood & has a large expat retiree population mostly from Britain/Australia. Penang would be my choice there.
Boy I couldn't agree more with everything you've said. I love Chiang Mai and would seriously consider it if I were going to make the move to Asia long term. I researched Malaysia as well and I like KL but I didn't get the chance to go to Penang yet but have heard good reports about it. Bangkok also offers an excellent lifestyle if you have a little more to spend. About the relentless heat and humidity, the best Asian options to avoid the hear are Bauguio, Ph, Da Lat, Vt, and Bandung, Indonesia.
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