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How much are you really living on?

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NemesisDBA
6/22/2016 15:24 EST

I hear a lot about how people are living off of only $500 or for around $1000-$1500 a month.

What I'm wondering is how much are you actually making it on.

What would be a nice comfortable amount to retire on 2 - 3 - 4 or 5K a month? I'll be retiring in 3 or 4 years so I'm just starting to look into the Philippines. I really like the idea of being in a place that is a lot mellower than the U.S.

We have watched many (a whole lot) of videos on the Philippines on cost of living, but I would rather hear it from someone who isn't trying to make a vlog and have it generate income to make up for lack of funds.

My wife's parents are living on Luzon on around $4,000 a month and they say they don't have to worry about anything at all.

Thanks much

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chance2014
6/22/2016 18:15 EST

$4000 is a lot here of course they don't worry. It can be as cheap as you want here or as expensive as you want it all depends on where you live and your standard of lving there is no set amount. We live on just over $1000 every four weeks for 3 adults and a baby. Nor rich but not poor. We rent a small 2 bed apartment tiled floor etc nice little place actually. So $1000 a month is doable $4000 a month is very comfortable indeed

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chance2014
6/22/2016 18:22 EST

One bit of advice come here as often as you can for as long as you can you may love it here or you might hate it. Visiting here even for many years is nothing like living here year in year out, be prepared for a lot of shocks

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Billsmith999
6/22/2016 18:22 EST

You manage you money well chance2014 to be supporting a family of 4 on $1,000 per month. $4,000 per month is a LOT more than needed, about 184,000 pesos at today's foreign currency exchange rate.

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poochewer
6/22/2016 18:43 EST

I have to say this because it is the truth nemisis, your wifes parents are completely ripping you off someone else off! $4000 a month is a massive massive massive amount of money in this country. My suggestion is that you reconsider everything you have been told by your wife.

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CAspacecowboy
6/22/2016 18:46 EST

Chance is spot-on. If you have relatives here, make some visits and look around. Luzon is a wide-swath, so Subic is different than Tagatay, and so is Makati to somewhere in the provinces. Yet, cost is not everything. The lifestyle is very different regardless of town or province. Something as simple as "911" does not exist in PH. Ambulances? If that's what you can call it and who cares? Nobody gets out of the way! Not meaning to scare anyone. It is laid back, inexpensive and the life-style and the beach sunsets, can be fantastic. We will be living in PH in about 4 years, using a measured step by step plan. Part of that is that I have been coming with my US Filipina GF of 8 years for 2 - 4 week visits at a time. Her family lives in the province and also in Olongapo. So I have been getting the taste of showering with a tabu (ladle) , no A/C, and also basic city conveniences, with A/C, Internet, and so on. I still have lots to learn and see, but can't wait to get into living there at least part-time. Good luck in your journey!

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CAteacher
6/22/2016 18:58 EST

It depends where you're living on Luzon. If you're looking to live in or near Makati, you may have to budget yourself quite carefully. Tagatay (an hour-and-a-half from Manila) is expat friendly and less expensive, but you won't have much trouble spending that much. The farther you get away from Manila, the farther your money will go.

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BertelBertelsen
6/22/2016 23:15 EST

i just love the reactions of the poor americans... 4000 dollar is only 170.000 thousand peso. hey, its how you live. if you want to live in style you easy spent 100.000 thou per month.(thats with paying of a house or renting a nice house. ) and eating in nice places. also having some products from home doesnt come cheap giving a bit to charity or projects..it ads up..but hey..that the money you get for being positive in live!

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NemesisDBA
6/23/2016 00:07 EST

With saving money to fly back to the states every year, travel to other countries I would think that sounds about right.

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Billsmith999
6/23/2016 00:09 EST

You need to find a more honest money changer BertelBertelsen. $4,000.00 USD amounts to 186,000 pesos at today's foreign currency exchange rates.

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Billsmith999
6/23/2016 00:11 EST

Can I be your money changer BertelBertelsen?

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Singlelooking
6/23/2016 00:52 EST

Its hard for a couple to spend here more than $2000.
I've never even been close...
And I've always lived in big cities,nice condos,taken taxis, constantly eat out a lot etc.
But I've never bought car since I left the US.
I went back home for less than 3 months and spent $18k. Rental car, rent etc.
Traveled throw Europe on $4 to 5k a month.
But you can live on the south of France/Spain renting, not living in hotels, on 3k a month and less if you wanted to.
US is very expensive!

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charkee
6/23/2016 01:36 EST

My goodness, I live 20 miles south of Manila and I spend $4000 A YEAR. I don't live in a slum and we never go hungry. The only things I don't have are a car and aircon.

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ron503
6/23/2016 01:54 EST

As far as Im concerned, our family needs an emergency fund of at least P500K for medical emergencies. For as long as no one gets sick or breaks a bone, P35K/mo is more than sufficient for our family.

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 01:57 EST

@ron. i have the same. and still next to it i put the whole family in blue cross(insured up to 2million) for 3 thou a month.

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Billsmith999
6/23/2016 01:58 EST

charkee ~ How many people?

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Billsmith999
6/23/2016 02:00 EST

ron503 ~ How many people are in your family?

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 02:27 EST

still it explains all the grumpy men and the correlation between the grumpyness and the amount of money they can spent. i think if half of them had a better pension they would not even live in the philippines. i mean living on 300-500 dollars a month. thats no life. thats survival. even with your own farm,food etc for free. everybody still wants a bit of luxury.

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GaryD
6/23/2016 03:11 EST

You can live pretty cheap in the Philippines as long as you are fit. As soon as you are into regular medication or serious illness costs can sky rocket.

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GaryD
6/23/2016 04:06 EST

I would also like to add that one concern I have is with inflation. Once retired you are usually on a fixed income. Inflation in the west has pretty much flat lined for the past 7-8 years. The Philippines hasn't, inflation is alive and well. To compared my home country and the Philippines I used to use the Happy Meal test. When I first came to the Philippines 20 years ago the ratio of a MD Happy Meal was about 8:1 now 20 years lated it's closer to 3:1. Give it another 10-15 years we are going to be at parity. 20 years ago $1000 per month you could live like a lord, today it's about a minimum. 5 years time and it's going to be a stretch.

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chance2014
6/23/2016 05:26 EST

$4000 a year is 15000 peso a month you can't pay rent on a decent place water electricity gas bottles and good food on 15k unless you are extremely tight with your money. 4 to 5k rent is quite low but that is a third of your budget and you havnt even started yet. I would assume you would own the place you live in no rent no mortgage eat fairly simple food no drink no smoke eat out rarely or extremely cheaply and don't travel much. But if your happy with your life then you have got the right idea its very easy to spend a lot of money anywhere you don't have to try very hard, but it is difficult living on a low fixed income

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charkee
6/23/2016 06:11 EST

Rent: 7000
electric: 650
internet: 1300
fare; 150. and we walk a lot.
Food: we grow all our veggies and some fruits, including grapes that are just starting to bear.
Rice: 550
Meat and fish 1000
1500 immigration
Gas 514 for 4 months. A pressure cooker saves a lot of gas. My wife cooks with wood that we find on the street from fallen branches and prunings.

Street foods 300.

We know plenty of people that earn half of what we earn and feed 5 or 6 kids. But they don't enjoy a varied diet as we do.

These costs are for 3 adults living here.

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 06:55 EST

@charkee. you have my respect man but still it stays a tight budget,

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ACEPoolPlayer
6/23/2016 07:46 EST

Charkee,
I've said many times it can be done... Power to you! The biggest variables are always going to be housing (whether you own /built your own house or how extravagant the place you are renting will be), entertainment (if you are single, women / massage parlors /nightlife), food (buying from the market, cooking in (wife or girlfriend) most of the time or frequently eating out). Those variables alone can extend from $300 USD to $4,000 USD a month!!! Oh, also how extravagant your girlfriend/wife is, plus what her family hits you up for.... Good luck to everyone.

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NemesisDBA
6/23/2016 08:08 EST

charkee - You have my respect for making it on what you have. That's great that you are able to do what you do.

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sherwood
6/23/2016 08:13 EST

The bottom line is that your money will go a lot further in the Philippines. If your income is fixed and you have a challenge living on it in the U.S. then you will do better in the Philippines, but it still will be a challenge. If your expenses and needs are greater than your income you need to economize, budget, live in a lower cost of living area and maybe find a way to increase your income.
Good luck with your financials.

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 08:13 EST

i am from europe. so its a ballpark figure. last time i had dollars in my hand was 15 years ago in SF.

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lblampman
6/23/2016 09:16 EST

I live in the Bicol region of Luzon in the province of Albay. I'm in a farming area about 1.25 hours from the nearest "large" city (Legazpi) but we do live in town and not on a farm.

Our budget is P40,000 (about $850) per month and we don't have to work very hard to make that budget. The budget was not set in order to just "get by", it's just what we found we spent over a few months (and it leaves some of my income for savings).

We live in a single level gated 3-bedroom (I personally think it's 2 bedrooms and a pantry), 2-bath house with a very small yard area and a nice carport.

The family consists of my wife and me, a 20 year-old niece, a 7 year-old grand-niece, and a 5 year-old grand-nephew; not the niece's kids (she's their cousin) but I asked her to live with us to help with the kids and we give her P3,000/mo (included in our P40,000 budget).

What makes it work for us is that we live in a smaller city in a rural area, so rent is cheap and so is food (compared to western prices).

We pay P5,000/mo for the house, which I think is lower than typical (we just lucked into it really) and it's a nice house, not a dump, located in good neighborhood.

We spend about P2,000/mo for electricity (aircon only in the master bedroom and only used in the evening to cool the room down), though it will go to about P2,500 in the summer months.

We spend P1,500 for 3 mbps Internet and phone.

Food is about P15,000/month; it could be lower with a bit more diligence, which my wife would like, but this includes Jolibee with the kids, etc, and I'm not too motivated to reduce it.

We don't have a car. I do have a Racal eTrike which I use around town (school bus, grocery-getter, errands) but it requires no insurance, licensing, or fuel.

We live a quiet (normal?) family life, so there's not a lot of eating at restaurants (there's only one in town anyway), there are no expensive attractions in the area, and with the kids in school we don't travel a lot.

That said, we don't just sit at home to save money and not do things when they become available but most things, like a trip to the beach, are not very expensive. Even a trip to the "big city" (Legazpi or Naga) is pretty inexpensive on the nicer aircon buses and the kids come home thinking we've been on a major adventure.

To put in it perspective, relative to the Filipino families that live around us, and relative to my wife's family who lives about 10 km from us, we live a pretty solid middle income life. By no means are we scrimping, saving, not living life, and barely getting by.

But that's just my experience in my area, I know if we moved to Legazpi, Naga, or even more expensive places like Cebu or anywhere in the Manila area our budget would be stretched thin (probably broken!). I happen to like it where we live and don't want to live in a larger city but that does have a big impact on costs (in our case, it lowers them).

Not included in the budget are things like paying for my recent 13A permanent resident visa and major household appliances and such. Those come out of the money that's saved and not part of the monthly budget because they're not recurring expenses (but still money you need to come up with when necessary).

According to the Philippine government middle income is considered to be from about P30,000/mo to P80,000/mo. How comfortable that is will, of course, vary with the area you live in; P30,000 goes pretty far in the rural areas and not so far in the large cities.

Upper middle class is P80,000 to P118,000, upper class is P118,000 to P160,000, and rich is above P160,000 (which is about $3,500/mo).

That's about it,

Les

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 09:32 EST

@lblampman. you live in a wonderfull area with a very good cuisine. i have been a couple of times to legazpi and next to the bicol express i really liked the fern salad that they make in that surrounding.

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mootpoint20
6/23/2016 10:40 EST

I have checked Subic and Davao and the availability of apartments is different. Also prices are different, but in Subic American military has moved back in since 2012. I like the idea of being in Subic but also love the economy of Davao.

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 10:57 EST

@mootpoint. the prices range from 5.000 outside a subdivision, 10.000 for small bungalow inside subdivision. up and down around 15th. condo's are crazy expensive to rent. for that money you can rent a nice big house in a good subdivison. if you are sure that u want to come here , let me know and i will get you in contact with the right places to look for to live.

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woodenships11
6/23/2016 17:47 EST

I really started the "Thread" on Bohol. I started that Bohol thread. I just wanted to horn in here and thank everyone for the input. Very helpful. Especially those who said, "nothing going on there." LOL. Music to my ears.Sounds perfect. Been in earthquakes in Ca. and 4-hurricanes in Florida...as the natives say..."No problemo." Next step is visiting. My gut says not so keen on "Tag or Baguio"---I've lived in L.A. Do I need that?? Gut says Bohol. Valencia. or Tubigon?? Panglao?? The rent sounds about right as does the life style. Thank you all for taking the time. Cheers. See a big guy with white hair by the beach late in the afternoon trying to figure out how to get his flip flops on??? That will be me. Stop and say "hey". I'd like to pour you one from my rum bottle if there is any left. Ciao!!!

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minocqua
6/23/2016 18:58 EST

@lblampman ,,
thanks les , great post .
my budget as a single guy will be apx
$1,000 usd . im planing on taking my
ss as i turn 62 , before they change any more laws / requirements .

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Billsmith999
6/23/2016 19:01 EST

lblampman ~ Are the kids in private or public school(s)?

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ron503
6/23/2016 20:11 EST

@ Bill
We have 3 y/o twins along with my wife
Our monthly bill:
1 Electricity P5000
2 Water P1000
3 Internet/Cable P1500
4 Nanny & Maid P10,000
5. Propane P700
6 Food (home cook meal) P5000
7 Car gas P3000 mo (its diesel)
8 Whatever is left we either use it for dining out or save it, or use it for emergency.

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poochewer
6/23/2016 20:26 EST

@chance I suggest you buy a new calculator. $4000 is 180000 pesos NOT 15000

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poochewer
6/23/2016 20:30 EST

to the guy in USA whose wifes mother and father are living in philippines on $4000 usd per month, let me re-iterate, you need to divorce that woman immediately!
If your wife is telling you that it costs 4k usd to live there per month, then you are being robbed and lied to.

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lblampman
6/23/2016 20:49 EST

minocqua,

That's exactly the situation I was in. I took retirement at 62 and moved. Of course, I'm no longer single! :-)

Really, the cost is based on what you want (or need) it to be based on what you like to do and/or what you need.

You can live super inexpensively but I think most guys would find that situation pretty limiting since it requires you curtail a lot of activities that you might like to participate in.

I would find your $1,000 budget a comfortable level for a single guy in particular if you didn't want to be in the heart of a big city, sample all the restaurants, visit all the bars, and don't need to travel constantly.

I wouldn't (personally) move to a location like I live, in spite of it being very budget friendly. As a single guy here I'd go nuts and become bored to death. I'm not a party animal at all and I like a simple life, but even I would need to be able to do more stuff than I can here if I was single.

I think a happy medium would be to get far enough away from a larger city to find lower rents, a good public market (cheaper than western-style supermarkets), and not as many places to go spend money, but close enough to take a bus (or Jeepney, etc) to the larger city when you feel the need, or perhaps travel to some of the wonderful places the Philippines has to offer.

Best wishes!

Les

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lblampman
6/23/2016 20:57 EST

ron503,

Great post!

It's interesting to see the differences in spending categories given we both have about the same family situation (you/me, wife, 2 kids, and a nanny).

We spend a lot more on food (hmmm), but less for electricity,

We get away with a lot less for the nanny but that's due to her being a young family member (and I wanted to pay her more but got overruled!).

You list water and propane, which I should have done as well; our costs are very close to the same.

Our Internet is the same but since we don't have a car we don't have the fuel bill.

This is good for people to have some comparisons.

Les

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BertelBertelsen
6/23/2016 22:37 EST

@poochiepewer. you can better ask, how is their lifestyle. if they have a penthouse of 200 sqm, a beemer in the garage and eat out at the finest places its very easy spending that money. if you have next to that investements that money is not even enough. thats better to say than the woman is robbing him, bulok. most people with that budget have or a trustfund or a good brain that made them that money

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wilbur043
6/23/2016 22:37 EST

As so many people have said, how much it costs, depends on how and where you live.
I am very fortunate to have been able to retire at 53 with a very good pension. I came here to live not out of necessity but, because I like the climate and I can live very comfortably here. I live in a high end gated subdivision on the sea about 45 minutes south of Cebu city. I rent a fully furnished 3 bedroom, 2 story house. My rent is P30,000. My next biggest bill is electricity which is about P12,000 because I use air con 24/7. Internet and cable is about another P2000. Water runs about P450 and I water my grass and plants twice a day. I eat very well and go out frequently. In total, I spend about $2000 a month to live a very good life. I could not afford to live on the sea or live the way I do for $2000 a month in the U.S. There are drawbacks to living here but, I get along very well with everyone and have had no problems. I like it here.

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lblampman
6/23/2016 23:42 EST

Billsmith999,

Sorry, I missed your question earlier.

The kids are in public school; the grand-nephew is 5 and in kindergarten, the grand-niece is 7 and in 2nd grade.

The kids came to live with us on June 1st, presumably for a long term situation (maybe until they're on their own), so this year I thought I'd take a wait-and-see approach to the school.

Of course, if we end up moving them to the private school near our house I'll have to edit my budget for sure! LOL

Les

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NemesisDBA
6/23/2016 23:49 EST

poochewer - Not sure how to say this without sounding rude, but you don't know a darn thing about me, my family so be careful on what you say.

I'm sorry if you are living on a very small amount and can't afford a darn thing. I'mm be retiring at 56 with around 5-6,000 a month disposable income and it will go up from that when I turn 65.

I've been married for 24 years and my wife's parents are very well off. They bought a house, have 2 maids, gardeners and also save enough from the 4K a month to be able to travel when & where they want.

I'm guessing that you are no where near the place where you can have any kind of total financial freedom.

It's really to bad that there are ignorant rude people like you in the world.

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NemesisDBA
6/23/2016 23:49 EST

poochewer - Not sure how to say this without sounding rude, but you don't know a darn thing about me, my family so be careful on what you say.

I'm sorry if you are living on a very small amount and can't afford a darn thing. I'mm be retiring at 56 with around 5-6,000 a month disposable income and it will go up from that when I turn 65.

I've been married for 24 years and my wife's parents are very well off. They bought a house, have 2 maids, gardeners and also save enough from the 4K a month to be able to travel when & where they want.

I'm guessing that you are no where near the place where you can have any kind of total financial freedom.

It's really to bad that there are ignorant rude people like you in the world.

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CAteacher
6/23/2016 23:59 EST

Poo, $4K is a perfectly appropriate cost of living in some locals. But you should look into where and how they are living.

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BertelBertelsen
6/24/2016 01:54 EST

@nemesisDBA. i said exactly the same to that poocher. good for you and your parents. and same for wilbur43 and me. we all have a good income or pension and over here you can live like a king instead of living a mediocore live in the US, Canada or Europe.

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chance2014
6/24/2016 02:14 EST

A poster here said he lived on $4000 a year that equates to just over 15000 pesos per MONTH.
$4000 per month as you say is around 180000php per month I could live like prince harry on that

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poochewer
6/24/2016 02:43 EST

nemesis, maybe you understand this or maybe not , but this is a forum for expats who live in the philippines. Its also a forum where us expats can give info about how to live and survive in this place. You sound to me like someone who needs no advice whatsoever. In fact you sound just like someone that I would never spend even a second of my retirement to sit down with and have a beer with (or champayne in your case) and im sorry but I also would not want to waste my time giving advice to someone who quite clearly doesnt need any. You already know it all.

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poochewer
6/24/2016 02:46 EST

Thank you chance that is exactly what i meant to say

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poochewer
6/24/2016 02:46 EST

Thank you chance that is exactly what i meant to say

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seernai
6/24/2016 03:14 EST

Not everyone has a good pension living here I know one or two guys who are really struggling by the end of the month especially if your money is paid directly into a bank here as in a few you have to keep a minimum balance of 10,000 php otherwise you start to pay interest for everyday you go under , a lot Is down to life style especially if you drink a lot everyday again that Is up to the individual, personally I don't drink, I used to years ago but gave up for health reasons

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BertelBertelsen
6/24/2016 03:20 EST

@seernai. let them go to plantersbank. remaning balance is 3000 peso and its one of the banks that belongs to chinabank-bdo sooo

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seernai
6/24/2016 03:24 EST

Yes ok, one problem the Brits have is if they have their pension paid into PNB they will not pay your mortgage in the uk or any other regular payments in the uk , a few guys have had to have their pensions paid back into their uk accounts because of this as it is all geared up to the dollar

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chance2014
6/24/2016 03:51 EST

Bdo do a remitence account no balance needed and as long as you have one remitence a year it will stay open so keep a bank account in UK have pension paid in there and mortgage etc can be taken out and what you need here have sent by world remit to your bank lose a little bit but not too much. Simples.

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BillSmith9
6/24/2016 05:18 EST

BertelBertelsen

You might want to read wilbur043's post to see the lifestyle he is living on 1/2 this budget.

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agypsyquokka
6/24/2016 05:23 EST

Well written Poochewer. Fully agree

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BertelBertelsen
6/24/2016 05:31 EST

@poochepewer...the advice we give to others is most of the time better aplicable on our own live. so ...

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BertelBertelsen
6/24/2016 05:33 EST

So only the poor can scream and shout over here? what are you , trump?

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NemesisDBA
6/24/2016 08:39 EST

poo chewer:
subukan at hindi maging tulad ng isang walang pinag-aralan dayuhan

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CAspacecowboy
6/24/2016 15:45 EST

Maybe off topic, but regarding the string: What is the site for? Not only actual expats, but - "Welcome to Expat Exchange. If you're moving overseas, settling in abroad, an expert on international living, a repatriate, or just considering an expatriate adventure, Expat Exchange can help! Since 1997, we've helped millions of expats worldwide. "

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CAteacher
6/24/2016 16:18 EST

Will you spell out the point youre are trying to make CAspacecowboy?

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poochewer
6/24/2016 18:26 EST

Nemesis, seeing as you had to get your wife to answer me, heres my answer.
I am definately poor. My wife does stay with me and said that she will stay with me forever, simply because she loves me.
Believe it or not, I DO feel like a millionaire, and I feel sorry for you because you will know what that feels like.

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redlandchuck
6/24/2016 20:05 EST

hello
Im a retired American living in the Philippines. I moved here because it was impossible to continue living in Miami on my SS of $1100.00 USD a month.. I have been here for 5 years and can say that my life here has been good with little or none 0f the problems I see written here.
I live here in Northern Mindinao. Cagayan de oro. The city is not very big but is fairly modern and getting better every day. Anything I want or need can be found here at resonable cost.
My monthly budget is 40,000 pesos. Rent, utilities, cable, internet, gasoline, gym and fare run about 10,000 monthly. You can live really good here and dont pay attention to all the negatives about Mindinao.
I have my own car and motorcycle and can travel freely all around.
I have no negative remarks and highly recommend anybody planning to live here to check out my city, Cagayan de Oro.

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redlandchuck
6/24/2016 20:05 EST

hello
Im a retired American living in the Philippines. I moved here because it was impossible to continue living in Miami on my SS of $1100.00 USD a month.. I have been here for 5 years and can say that my life here has been good with little or none 0f the problems I see written here.
I live here in Northern Mindinao. Cagayan de oro. The city is not very big but is fairly modern and getting better every day. Anything I want or need can be found here at resonable cost.
My monthly budget is 40,000 pesos. Rent, utilities, cable, internet, gasoline, gym and fare run about 10,000 monthly. You can live really good here and dont pay attention to all the negatives about Mindinao.
I have my own car and motorcycle and can travel freely all around.
I have no negative remarks and highly recommend anybody planning to live here to check out my city, Cagayan de Oro.

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NemesisDBA
6/24/2016 21:30 EST

Poo Chew, I actually wrote it and it does show how bloody ignorant you are. I'm done with this thread except for the people I've privately PMd.

I am certain that not all expats are as low class, rude, and act like they are entitled. I have met so many that are willing to help.

Poo boy - you should be SO ashamed of yourself for being such a poor representation of how an expat acts in another country.

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BertelBertelsen
6/25/2016 00:59 EST

@ca space cowboy. you are wrong, this site is for US ex militairy with no manners who cannot discuss and are still living in the 50ties. and by that i mean the 1850 ties

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BertelBertelsen
6/25/2016 01:02 EST

@redlandchuck. Cagayan is great, and you are close to camiguin which is also great ... and travelling the highway between cagayan and davao is one of the biggest pleasures

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rick1017
6/25/2016 02:47 EST

I live in Dumaguete and my budget is around 70k pesos a month. That's for a family of 5. My biggest expense is my rent at 23k pesos. I live pretty well.

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Singlelooking
6/25/2016 07:35 EST

I was just in Cagayan visitimg The Crist Of Mercy to do the novina of Mercy and also visited Comeguin.

In Cagayan you need a car,distances are long.

In Comeguin to live and enjoy you need a motorbike to have fun.

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ACEPoolPlayer
6/25/2016 09:19 EST

Nemesis,
I think I understand how you came about your epithet. Your initial post states that you hear about a lot of people are living off $500-$1500 a month. As state you have obviously read a lot of posts / videos from different sites. Then you ask if $2000-$5000 would be comfortable? As an apparent educated person what do you think the answer would be?? If you consider a majority of the people on this site live on less than $2000 a month with many people stating that their life is comfortable.... You state you'd be getting $6000 a month and your in laws are well off on a $4000 (185,000 pesos) a month living on Luzon. Then you have your wife say in tagalog negative comment about people acting like uneducated foreigners. Someone should take a good look in the mirror. I think this is probably not the right site for you. You have well off in laws, a witty wife, and plenty of finances available. You'd certainly be a Nemesis to most people on this site and probably a lot of other places....

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CAteacher
6/25/2016 15:04 EST

There is room for every expat on this site, no matter how rich or poor. As Ace and Poo point out, there are plenty of low income folks on this site, but I hasten to add that only a couple of them seem to be sensitive about it. Chillax (as my students sometime say) There is room for all of us here. No one needs to go away.
The Moderator

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chance2014
6/25/2016 16:59 EST

I hope this thread doesn't degenerate into a mud slinging contest

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poochewer
6/26/2016 04:29 EST

Cateacher, you said that there is room for all type of people on this site, yet you sent a communiqué to the management of this site asking for 2 of its members to be banned. This sounds a little like a double standard to me.

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ACEPoolPlayer
6/26/2016 08:33 EST

No one is calling anyone poor or "low income folks", I'm certainly not. Everyone has a budget for their own reasons. It's not my position to judge if they are poor or low income folks. When someone opens a thread on how much are you really living on? He also mention they've been on several sites, watched many videos about retirement in the Philippines. He states his well off in laws live on $4000 USD a month in Luzon (married to a Filipina) and they will be receiving $6000 USD a month when he retires. It's quite obvious what his agenda is.... I'm not the censor nor am I kicking anyone off this site. I grew up in the land of the free and believe in the first amendment of the constitution (freedom of speech). I'm only saying we are here to share information and help people not to make people feel inferior by bragging about ones wealth. This is a great site. What makes it great? There are many regulars with tons of good information about the Philippines from many different perspectives. It's not a one person, one perspective blog.

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CAteacher
6/26/2016 11:44 EST

Poo, I'm not sure who you are talking about or when the incidents you refer to happened, but there are standards of behavior set forth in the Membership Agreement and consequences for violation of the agreement. There is indeed room for everybody to post their viewpoints here. However, there are also parameters all members must abide by. You might want to review those standards.

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poochewer
6/26/2016 22:50 EST

cateacher,There is absolutely no need for me to review my standards, but I am acusing you of having double standards. all my words are straight to the point. I say what i mean nothing more , nothing less.
Yet you constantly allow others to regularely talk a load of childish rubbish, and you sit back and do nothing about it. Im starting to believe that you actually enjoy the fighting.

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mootpoint20
7/14/2016 18:43 EST

I hate seeing 'standard-barers' fight. The cause of the problem, is that 4,000 pesos are being confused for 4,000 dollars. The original message is confused.

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draks
7/14/2016 19:46 EST

Confused?
Then you will be.

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gworsham
7/14/2016 21:19 EST

I live on a max 80,000 pesos (about $1700 US) monthly in a mid size town. This includes monthly rent of 15,ooo pesos, cost for owning a car and eating out often. I just went to the doctor that is a specialist and it cost 600 pesos. I then purchased a 4 month supply of medication for 5600 pesos (about $121 US) that would have cost over $1200 in the US and require a prescription. The cost of living in the PH is a plus.

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gworsham
7/14/2016 21:19 EST

I live on a max 80,000 pesos (about $1700 US) monthly in a mid size town. This includes monthly rent of 15,ooo pesos, cost for owning a car and eating out often. I just went to the doctor that is a specialist and it cost 600 pesos. I then purchased a 4 month supply of medication for 5600 pesos (about $121 US) that would have cost over $1200 in the US and require a prescription. The cost of living in the PH is a plus.

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mattinoh63
7/15/2016 00:46 EST

I came with around $70K US. Built a small house and a medium size piggery. We live on income from the sale of pigs and an organic commercial garden. Current bills (not including $100K per month feeds).

Electric - 8000 Peso
Water - Deep Well
Bottled Water - 1000 Peso
Gasoline (Ford F150) 5000 Peso
Food 25000 Peso
Entertainment 15000 Peso
Gasoline (4 motorcycles) 3500 Peso
Misc. (Health, Beauty) 3500 Peso

61000 Peso give or take, we live a comfortable life with few worries. Run AirCon in evening for bed, eat quality foods, eat out weekly. SOme of the costs could be reduced if needed.

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ACEPoolPlayer
7/15/2016 08:34 EST

Mattinoh63,
You listed your expenses and stated that "we live a comfortable life", on 61,000 pesos (approximately $1,300) in Leyte. It sounds very accurate and a good guideline for others considering all the things you own and maintain (as listed in your post). Then in a different post you state "$3500 (164,000 pesos) would allow a person to live nicely....not a king in his mansion, just comfortable." Wow, that's confusing to anyone.

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draks
7/16/2016 03:34 EST

Led you just about summed it up 40 to 50k a month is very doable as long as you say you don't live in the big cities etc my life much mirrors yours actually
Good luck

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crossrunner1
7/16/2016 21:14 EST

I make 2300$ can i live there comfortable wiht that a month

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mattinoh63
7/19/2016 16:31 EST

I agree, that may confuse someone. This whole how much can you live on is actually confusing. My apologies.. I will say this this... for $3500 a month I would live like a king in my very small house in the rural area of Leyte, my friend in a gated community in Cebu might struggle with the same amount. I will be more careful with my responses. ;)

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idp
8/20/2016 13:19 EST

Me and my hubby is spending about $7,000/annum.living in PH from oct to may and june-sep in Europe.that includes yearly trip to Thailand,Cambodia and Vietnam for a month and our return tickets to europe.We eat out in a local restaurant quite often and he gets a couple of beers everyday.
I'm the one handling our expenses and i'm a filipina.

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mootpoint20
8/20/2016 17:00 EST

BE careful.....third party communication can cause great confusion. It may not be $4,000 but 4000 pesos that the Filipino family is living on!

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charkee
8/20/2016 19:09 EST

I withdrew $4000 dollars US last October, looks like it will last us a year. I still have enough for next month's rent and utilities to spare.

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lblampman
8/20/2016 19:24 EST

idp,

Thanks for your post. The information you present is interesting but without some background, not very useful.

Traveling to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam for a month; purchasing two round-trip tickets to Europe each year (and having to spend quite a lot more while you're in Europe); and eating out quite often do not equate very well to $583 USD per month ($7,000 per year) without some explanation as to how your basic living expenses (housing, electricity, Internet, etc) are kept so low that you can afford the rest of your lifestyle.

I'd would be pleased to hear how you're accomplishing that.

Les

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Dmlawstudent
8/20/2016 19:32 EST

No we would be living on about 2000usd mo

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draks
8/20/2016 20:13 EST

I am a bit confused. Many here say they live on very little but they don't pay rent cos they bought the property. Surly the cost of the property must be included in your outgoings. One guy came here with $70,000 built a house and a piggery then says helices on 60k but surely the $70,000 has to be taken into account or the cost of the house and farm. Property prices don't rise as quick here as they do in uk . so am I right in thinking the cost of buying the house should be included? Maybe spread over the time you have lived in it.

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draks
8/20/2016 20:17 EST

Oh and I really would like to know how to live here on $7000 a year and travel to Europe Cambodia Vietnam all included. I am obviously doing it all wrong

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TeeJay4103
8/21/2016 01:21 EST

We live in Luzon near Tagaytay where the weather is a little cooler and we own our home, so we pay no rent.

That being said our budget fluctuates between $800 and a $1000 dollars a month or 46,000 pesos.

Of that amount our water and electric costs average 2700 pesos per month which includes household appliances and Air conditioning.

The balance is used for food, clothing, gas and entertainment such as a movie every week or so, eating out once or twice a week and a road trip to a park, a beach or other interest about twice a month and $100 dollars per month to my wife's elderly sister who we willingly help.

We have funds set aside for life and household emergencies that we do not touch.

I am here on a Balikbayan privilege stamp in my passport and my wife and I take a trip out of the country once a year to renew the stamp. The cost can be as little as a recent two day trip to Jakarta for $570 including hotel and airfare.

The budget also includes incidentals that are averaged in such as a trip to the Dentist for fillings and a couple of non emergency trips to the local doctor and prescriptions, a set of tires for our car, two oil changes and an initial tune up in the last three years.

Your lifestyle and personals tastes will have a lot to do with your cost of living here and the more lavish the lifestyle the more expensive the cost of living. We consider ours to be enjoyable and comfortable.

Best wishes.

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idp
8/21/2016 07:08 EST

hi LES.

here's my explanation to that..

2 return tickets:$1,500 (we always get a promo since our schedule are flexible)

june-oct:we stayed in Europe with my hubby's parents and spend around $1,500 for outings,sport membership & so on.my in law's pay for our food since they always consider us on a holiday.

oct-may:we are in PH.if we are in Leyte,we don't pay the rent since my parents has an empty house.we usually visit Bantayan Island often and rent a place and still it's enough with beers everyday and eating out in a local restaurant.

and in between oct-may,we always visit Thailand,Cambodia & Vietnam.we always get a promo fare and stay in guesthouses.

Ever since i was in college i always have a notebook for my expenses and now that i'm married i still use it to jot down our expenses every single penny.
My hubby is quite surprised though with my budgeting skills and is proud of that.
I hope this helps..

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draks
8/21/2016 11:25 EST

I can see now why you live and travel so cheap, I wouldn't be too pleased if you visited me for your holiday but I had to feed you that would piss me off big time. Your very fortunate you have free housing and generous family. But I think you are the exception to the rule most of us have to pay our way here. But good luck to you

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lblampman
8/21/2016 18:25 EST

idp,

Thank you for the explanation, I do appreciate it but more importantly it puts your first post in perspective for folks that are thinking about moving to the Philippines.

While you're able to accomplish your budget, others should be able to ascertain that doing so requires a unique set of circumstances, which most folks are not likely to have. It's a good example of what can or might be achieved but doesn't represent what the average expat moving to the Philippines could look forward to living on.

Les

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lblampman
8/21/2016 18:43 EST

Ah, but draks, she didn't say in her post that her family fed them, only that they stayed in her parents home when visiting in that area. She and her husband aren't paying for lodging, either while in Europe or in the Philippines and that would have a large impact on the yearly costs since it not only gets rid of rent/mortgage payment but the associated costs of being in a home (at least when they're in Europe).

And, given the closeness of most Filipino families I'm quite sure her family in Europe is quite happy that they stay with them and don't see it as a burden. I know if, say, my sister and her husband came from the US and wanted to stay with my wife and me for 3 or 4 months in the Philippines I would be delighted.

They do an awfully with the money they have and I think that's the lesson to take away from this. Though most of us won't have a rent or mortgage-free living situation (especially in two locations) that doesn't diminish the validity of what they're able to accomplish with the amount of money they spend. I'd be happy to replicate their lifestyle by just adding rent to get to my budget, it would still be affordable.

I don't believe the lesson from the post was how to "sponge" off relatives since it's not evident from her post that that's the situation.

Les

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EagertoRetire
8/23/2016 13:27 EST

Wow! I've added these figures together and come to a total of 12,964 PHP which at the exchange rate on Yahoo Currency Converter equates to $279.69 USD per month. Even a tight-wad bean counter like me could live confortably on $1000.00 USD per month with some cushion for miscellaneous over and under expenses.

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CAteacher
8/23/2016 14:05 EST

Eager foretold, don't let those numbers get you too excited till you determine where you want (need) to live and what sort of life style you require. Actual costs vary greatly by location.

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lblampman
8/23/2016 18:55 EST

EagertoRetire,

If you're referring to idp's figures, you didn't scroll up far enough to get to her original post. The figures she gave in her "explanation" post were just breaking out some of the costs that make up her overall total.

In her first post idp says that they live on $7,000 USD per year, or about $583 per month.

That is doable but not with the travel they do and with living in Europe for a few months each year. She explained in her second post that they really don't have housing costs and they search for good deals on travel. That said, they're really stretching their dollars.

If you don't travel a lot and you live in a semi-rural to rural area (in the provinces as they say here) you could live on $583/mo but most folks already living here would tell you that's a very tight budget if you don't have some special circumstances (like no rent, or you're on a farm (not paying for food much), etc).

What does work in our favor is that the US dollar (all all western currencies) escalate very quickly in the Philippines. For instance, an increase of just $100/mo (~4600 pesos) isn't much in the US but it's a "big deal" in the Philippines; in fact, in a lot of cases that amount may actually pay the rent.

I live a pretty low-key life (that is, no bars, no fancy restaurants, not a lot of travel, etc), just a normal family life in the provinces (in the country is what we'd say in the US). I have a family of four people (wife, 7 year-old, and 5 year-old) and we have a (small by US standards) three bedroom house on a small in-town lot. We budget but we're not overly aggressive about it. In other words, we live very comfortably by Filipino standards and not uncomfortably by western standards (I have simple tastes anyway and like simplicity).

We live easily on $900 USD per month. With some effort we could take that down to $800/mo but then we would be pesos-pinching, which I prefer not to do.

It really is all about lifestyle here (as it is in the US). Away from the big cities you can live quite well on $1,000/mo. In the big cities you'd probably make it but it would be a lot tighter and it would be difficult to then partake of some of the things big city life has to offer.

I did a comparison for myself because I was contemplating a move to Cebu City or nearby (I currently live in southeastern Luzon). As I said my budget here is about $900/mo, in the Cebu City area, for the same level of housing and lifestyle, I would need between $450 and $500 per month more to make up the difference in housing costs and electricity, or $1350 to $1400 per month. And, it would be likely we'd spend even more because of all the opportunities to spend money in a place like Cebu (restaurants, attractions, entertainment, etc).

Hope this helps a bit.

Les

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charkee
8/23/2016 21:00 EST

@Eagertoretire, 3 of us do it just fine on $350 a month and I live about 20 miles from Manila. Nothing fancy, but far from slums. We lived in a slum on much less as rent was $50 a month for a 2 bedroom, clean bungalow, but it was really noisy and we were always concerned about flooding. People stole from our large garden and several families were hijacking our electricity. But they were caught and they paid us back... and shabu problem neighbors. They left us alone, but the yelling and fighting was not pleasant.

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lblampman
8/23/2016 22:00 EST

charkee,

As I recall, you have some sort of situation that reduces your monthly costs quite a bit, correct?

If not, would you mind reiterating the cost for each of your living categories? In all fairness, without details, such a low budget begs lots of questions about how you accomplish it.

Thanks,

Les

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gelynch52ph
8/24/2016 03:45 EST

I live in a 3 bedroom single house in Tagaytay and am not shackled to some gated community crap and I do so comfortably on $1408/mo. However, I found my house in a rather fortuitous manner and my P11K rent is not typical.

Before moving here you need to consider that you will need to buy all new appliances and furniture (both sets are inexpensive even new compared to US prices) and that I cannot afford to BUY a car on my income, I could afford to operate one if I had it.

Used cars are prohibitively expensive compared to the same older car in the real world, but new cars are not terribly expensive if you stay in the economy car range and can afford the down payment.

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ACEPoolPlayer
8/24/2016 07:44 EST

Charkee,
How much is your rent?

Les,
Your post wasn't clear as to your rent. Do you own the house? If you do not, how much is the rent? When you checked Cebu, how much was the rent there for what you'd be interested in?

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seernai
8/24/2016 09:05 EST

I live in a gated community and it is far from crap it has good family facilities like a free swimming pool wake board park A soccer pitch ,Basketball and volley ball courts and everyone in the community are very friendly apart from one or two Americans who think they are better than anyone else and pisses everyone else off whenever they open their mouths with their insults to the locals we have told them if it'so bad go back to the US as most of the other ex pats are great we also help a local children's home , so you see some gated communities are not crap

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Goodlooking
8/24/2016 13:04 EST

Hey ! give it a break ! OK ?
This forum is not for politics. Phils is a third world nation struggling as best as it can.
You can not demand to be worshiped because of your uncle's heroics at Tacloban. Barefoot and half naked sweating and unpaid Filipinos were climbing the mountains, carrying supplies on their backs along with MacArthur's forces. Have decency enough to acknowledge the worker gets paid less than a seeing eye dog. You messed up if you think money can buy a satellite city home near Las Vegas .It's a tropical nation with things they enjoy and can afford. That might not be your cup of tea. But it's their nation and all they know. You can not come change anything. Try to enjoy a new life and go experience millions of things you never seen before. Philippines is for cameras. Not for complaint boxes.

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Goodlooking
8/24/2016 13:04 EST

Hey ! give it a break ! OK ?
This forum is not for politics. Phils is a third world nation struggling as best as it can.
You can not demand to be worshiped because of your uncle's heroics at Tacloban. Barefoot and half naked sweating and unpaid Filipinos were climbing the mountains, carrying supplies on their backs along with MacArthur's forces. Have decency enough to acknowledge the worker gets paid less than a seeing eye dog. You messed up if you think money can buy a satellite city home near Las Vegas .It's a tropical nation with things they enjoy and can afford. That might not be your cup of tea. But it's their nation and all they know. You can not come change anything. Try to enjoy a new life and go experience millions of things you never seen before. Philippines is for cameras. Not for complaint boxes.

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Goodlooking
8/24/2016 13:04 EST

Hey ! give it a break ! OK ?
This forum is not for politics. Phils is a third world nation struggling as best as it can.
You can not demand to be worshiped because of your uncle's heroics at Tacloban. Barefoot and half naked sweating and unpaid Filipinos were climbing the mountains, carrying supplies on their backs along with MacArthur's forces. Have decency enough to acknowledge the worker gets paid less than a seeing eye dog. You messed up if you think money can buy a satellite city home near Las Vegas .It's a tropical nation with things they enjoy and can afford. That might not be your cup of tea. But it's their nation and all they know. You can not come change anything. Try to enjoy a new life and go experience millions of things you never seen before. Philippines is for cameras. Not for complaint boxes.

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Goodlooking
8/24/2016 13:04 EST

Hey ! give it a break ! OK ?
This forum is not for politics. Phils is a third world nation struggling as best as it can.
You can not demand to be worshiped because of your uncle's heroics at Tacloban. Barefoot and half naked sweating and unpaid Filipinos were climbing the mountains, carrying supplies on their backs along with MacArthur's forces. Have decency enough to acknowledge the worker gets paid less than a seeing eye dog. You messed up if you think money can buy a satellite city home near Las Vegas .It's a tropical nation with things they enjoy and can afford. That might not be your cup of tea. But it's their nation and all they know. You can not come change anything. Try to enjoy a new life and go experience millions of things you never seen before. Philippines is for cameras. Not for complaint boxes.

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Goodlooking
8/24/2016 13:04 EST

Hey ! give it a break ! OK ?
This forum is not for politics. Phils is a third world nation struggling as best as it can.
You can not demand to be worshiped because of your uncle's heroics at Tacloban. Barefoot and half naked sweating and unpaid Filipinos were climbing the mountains, carrying supplies on their backs along with MacArthur's forces. Have decency enough to acknowledge the worker gets paid less than a seeing eye dog. You messed up if you think money can buy a satellite city home near Las Vegas .It's a tropical nation with things they enjoy and can afford. That might not be your cup of tea. But it's their nation and all they know. You can not come change anything. Try to enjoy a new life and go experience millions of things you never seen before. Philippines is for cameras. Not for complaint boxes.

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lblampman
8/24/2016 18:45 EST

Hi ACEPoolPlayer,

Sorry, I didn't add details to my post. I had done that earlier in the same thread, so didn't do it again. However, the thread has gotten quite long so I should have included more information.

We do rent the house and it's P5,000 per month. We pay electricity (~P3600/mo) and Internet (P1500/mo). City water (not drinking) is P350 per year, so not a big factor in the budget for sure.

When I checked in Cebu, online and with other expats, the same sort of house was quoted at P20,000/mo at a minimum. That was in or near the city, which is what I was asking for. I suspect the further you get away from the city the lower the rents will be but if I was going to move to Cebu I wanted to be in town. That is, I didn't want to just replicate what I already have here (in terms of being rural) in a different place in the Philippines.

Les

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gelynch52ph
8/25/2016 01:02 EST

I agree with you totally. The guy is apparently rather wealthy and has no idea of the reality of life for us mere mortals. I've said in may forums, this one included, that I live rather comfortably in a 3 bedroom rural house on $1408/mo. The exception to the "comfortably" is that I can't afford to buy a car. There is no NEED for a car, but I sure would like one.

My place is in Tagaytay (generally considered to be a "high rent district), and like someone else said about their place, "I kinda lucked into mine" by meeting the right guy in Facebook. My rent is P11,000/mo. and by choosing my home wisely I have no need for AC so even though I cook 100% with electricity my bill is about P1700. Really, these people who think a person needs $4 or $5 K/month really confound me unless they have lived a life of luxury all their lives. My life was spent as an itinerant construction worker as a mechanic. Working construction forces a person into crappy apartments and various kinds of less-than-ideal situations so maybe that has given me the ability to appreciate what I have away from beaches and wild night life. I have a live in partner & on the occasions I've not felt well, she has cared for me. That cannot be had from hookers and the occasional bar hook up.

There is only the occasional barking dog, virtually no chickens and videoke can only be heard in the distance about once or twice a year. We neither live in the lap of luxury nor do we live a life of poverty and because there are only 2 of us a maid would be a hindrance, not a help. I can get a neighbor to come in daily when we are gone to feed the cats & change the litter, so no need for house help of any kind.

Life is good when not dealing with Globe Telecom or listening to Filipinos getting all butt hurt over having their precious little feelings hurt by some minor, insignificant comment as happened to me yesterday in a Facebook post. Americans who think they can say whatever they want and expect no blow-back had best stay off Facebook or only talk to people outside The Philippines.

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Rescuer
8/28/2016 05:07 EST

Hi Les ~ Are your children attending private or public schools?

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Rescuer
8/28/2016 05:07 EST

Hi Les ~ Are your children attending private or public schools?

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lblampman
8/28/2016 14:46 EST

Hi Rescuer,

The kids are in public school; the 5 year old in kindergarten and the 7 year old in 2nd grade.

Les

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Rescuer
8/28/2016 18:06 EST

Hi Led ~ You are probably saving about 10,000 pesos per month, but my concern would be the quality of education.

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lblampman
8/28/2016 20:04 EST

Rescuer,

I don't think we have any schools of the P5,000/mo/child caliber around here. We have friends that have their children in a local private school and it's P1,500/m0/child (that's just basic tuition).

Even so, I have a bit of an issue at play inasmuch as they're not my or my wife's biological children and we haven't adopted them (in a legal sense). They're actually a grand niece and a grand nephew (my wife's niece's kids), whose mother isn't able to take care of them and the father hasn't been in the picture since before the birth of the second child. They've never lived with their mother, who works in Laguna (a 12 hour bus ride from where we live and where the kids have always been).

These are kids that have spent a lot of time with us ever since I arrived. Regardless of my feelings about their mother I am not personally capable of assigning fault to the kids for what she's done (or hasn't done). Anyway, starting June 1st they came to live with us full time; maybe for this school year, maybe until they graduate, I just don't know.

So far things are looking pretty well at the school. It seems they're teaching what I would expect and the 7 year-old girl (2nd grade) is in a fast learner program. I tried to get my wife to let me enroll the kids at the closest private school but she said "absolutely not" and I didn't fight it this time around figuring I'd wait and see how this school year went.

The rest of the story involves my own personal opinion about public (and religiously-based private) schools; neither of which are worth the space and resources they take up. Both have agendas that have nothing to do with the betterment of the children. That feeling has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with teachers; that would be like blaming drivers for crappy buses.

I would much prefer to homeschool my children but my wife insists that they'll never get work here in the Philippines if we do that. I don't agree based on a cursory search on the Internet but I didn't have time to dig deep enough before school started to be 100% certain. Also, neither of the kids speak enough English yet for me to educate them as I'd like, so the easiest thing was to get through this school year and then make another assessment.

Les

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charkee
8/28/2016 20:18 EST

Iblampman, that is wonderful you are caring for them. I really don't like the schools here and also believe home schooling would be best. I would prefer to point them in a proprietorship direction rather than being employee oriented. Everybody I know, other than engineers, or high tech wages suck. The people I know that are making the money own businesses.

I teach piano privately and after 12 hours in school, they are exhausted and braindead. Their parents want me to teach them piano on top of all of that. This can't be good for them. Then add homework for 8 classes!.

I like to point out the schools in Finland are only 6 hours daily with plenty of recreation time and I believe no homework, yet their students are among the highest achievers on earth.

My wife's nephew (19) is living with us, his mother was pushing him hard to finish college. He is very bright and hates college and school all together. So we are encouraging him to go into business and he is already making more part time than full time in a job.

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lblampman
8/28/2016 22:02 EST

Hi charkee,

Thanks for the post!

I think if I reply here with what I'd like to say that it will drag this thread way off topic. Perhaps I'll start another thread or just send you a giant Private Message...LOL.

Les

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Rescuer
8/29/2016 02:46 EST

Hi Les ~ It can be as much as 10,000 pesos per month per kid when you factor in transportation, food, uniforms, books, etc. I agree about home schooling, but your wife may be right about official school documentation.

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DaveCrosby
9/19/2016 17:15 EST

I am planning to come for a visit in November of 2016. I am going into Cebu and seeing if the Philippines is where I want to retire. meager income of about 1200 US monthly. Is this something that I can live on or am I dreaming. Single guy just wanting to enjoy retirement not live like a king just modest . My requirements are not that much. Dave

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DaveCrosby
9/19/2016 17:15 EST

I am planning to come for a visit in November of 2016. I am going into Cebu and seeing if the Philippines is where I want to retire. meager income of about 1200 US monthly. Is this something that I can live on or am I dreaming. Single guy just wanting to enjoy retirement not live like a king just modest . My requirements are not that much. Dave

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Spruik
9/19/2016 18:35 EST

Looks like that will be your very first visit ever...

Ask yourself the question again after one month... lol

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Spruik
9/19/2016 18:35 EST

Looks like that will be your very first visit ever...

Ask yourself the question again after one month... lol

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brutasfatboy
9/19/2016 18:48 EST

I'll be there in January trying to decide the same thing keep me posted thank you

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Rescuer
9/19/2016 19:05 EST

Dave ~ A single guy can easily live on $1,200.00 USD per month here, but you need to spend some time here to determine if this is where you want to live.

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CAteacher
9/19/2016 19:41 EST

There are places that you can't live on 1,200 a month, Dave. See where you can live on that amount and ponder the effect of inflation over the number of years you have left. Also, don't overlook the value of the Medicare you will be leaving behind. General medical care is often much cheaper in the Philippines, but serious conditions like heart and cancer can be pricy. Just a word of caution, my friend.

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Goodlooking
9/20/2016 02:07 EST

Dave Crosby, only;
Hope you have a nice flight to Cebu. Be advised ! Be sober and about your wits. Being all alone is a self inflicted disaster. Soon; others will show you how badly you have been robbed every time you spent your money. Bring a shirt with a target on both sides. Everything has at least 2 prices. One is especially for you.
Not to be offensive. But I pray you steer clear of the precious Philippine beauty queens. We had a expat where we reside. He brought a precious Philippine beauty queen to his residence. Grabbed a quick shower. Stepped out of the shower and the precious Philippine beauty queen was gone. Gone too, was his computer, billfold with bank cards, passport, cell phone, camera, watch, and keys. That horrible disaster is still being talked about today. #2 fear shall be the BI. Do not let your immigration status expire. Expiration is superb excuse for being nabbed and held for trial. Said trial may be decades away. Extortion is still a real word today. Please do remember the definition of that word. I'm suspecting you are retired and that places you at the age of Vietnam Veterans. If you went there; you now have a good idea of what Cebu looks like and how people live here. Some expats can live like this. Most would not think of it. Welcome to my Philippines. Study the U S State Department warnings, disease alerts, infections alerts, medical availability information and bring lots of cash with you. But not more than 10,000 dollars. Bring ATM cards from 2 different banks. Ask stupid questions right here in the forums. While every single expat has a different story here; they are all true. Some will pertain to you. Get all your doings done before dark. Keep your head down and your powder dry. You can find ways to live out your life in a manner like you wrote about. Don't expect cheap prices here for decent lodging, household items, western foods, or appliances.
Don't bring winter, fall, or spring clothing to a tropic location. Don't even brush your teeth with the tap water here. Don't get into a heated discussion with the nice, always perfect Philippine people. You winning; is out of the question. Welcome to my Philippines. Landing on the moon is not such a bad thing. Searching for the lunar rover here can be an eye opening adventure.

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seernai
9/20/2016 02:58 EST

To a degree your correct depending where you are located but please do not tarnish the whole country with the same brush I always tell newbies to be alert at all times in if they take someone to where they live keep all valuables like laptops etc out of site and locked away as for going out at night of course you have to be careful it is always advisable to have someone who you can trust with you if you have to travel far If your in a subdivision and not far from where you live and go say to buy something from a sari sari store you should be ok again be aware who is behind you also another thing to consider especially at night if your walking try to walk with the traffic like tricycles coming towards you as most of these do not have lights on the side car and can easily hit you .

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seernai
9/20/2016 03:05 EST

Also how many people have two different banks ? Most people have only one bank so to advise that is going overboard a little open an account in the Philippines by all means and just transfer what you need for your daily needs from your home bank to your Philippine Bank

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seernai
9/20/2016 03:23 EST

With regard to immigration problems your not going to get thrown in jail if you over stay by a short time , as a Brit here had to renew his passport as his original passport was damaged by being caught in heavy rain he had to send it back to the Uk luckily he had his new one back within two weeks he had informed immigration of his problem and he just had to pay a fine no further action was taken , The important thing to remember here is this as long as you inform immigration of any reason why you cannot renew your visa within the time limit of your existing visa extension they will give you time to sort the problem out they will not just grab you and throw you in jail as anyone can have a problem, most people do not deliberately overstay or break laws

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Singlelooking
9/20/2016 10:11 EST

Go to WalMart and buy TWO YEARS of whatever medication you are taking. Medicines here are expensive. Medical treatment is NOT expensive.
Bring Tshirts,confortable tennis shoes, shorts, short sleeve shirts.
It is very HOT here. No winter,no spring,no fall.
Explore all the malls in Cebu, nice...
Girls and people in general are sweet and friendly. Hide your money!
Many girls will steal from you without remorse!
There is hope, eventually, you'll find the right girl.

Don't be in a rush to fall in love!!!!!

Clothing here is hard to find in our sizes!
People here are slim and small

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seernai
9/20/2016 12:07 EST

Regarding bringing two years medication you had check the use by dates and keep in the fridge as any tablets etc will go off very quickly in the heat here , regarding clothing sizes speak for yourself as I am just 153cm tall !!! Yes many Filipinos are very short but there are some tall ones as well as a trip to the local Basketball ball court will prove and also most security guards are tall

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DaveCrosby
9/20/2016 18:00 EST

I Figured I should take a look first and talk to people on the forum.

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DaveCrosby
9/20/2016 18:02 EST

Are there places I can go in the evening and be somewhat, where expats hang out.

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gelynch52ph
9/21/2016 00:42 EST

The person who said his wife's parents live on $4000/ mo. never said his wife was making him give that much money, just that they lived on that much. Where did you get the idea the wife (or her parents) were ripping him off?

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gelynch52ph
9/21/2016 01:00 EST

Here is what you wrote.

Go to WalMart and buy TWO YEARS of whatever medication you are taking. Medicines here are expensive. Medical treatment is NOT expensive. Bring Tshirts,confortable tennis shoes, shorts, short sleeve shirts. It is very HOT here. No winter,no spring,no fall. Explore all the malls in Cebu, nice... Girls and people in general are sweet and friendly. Hide your money! Many girls will steal from you without remorse! There is hope, eventually, you'll find the right girl. Don't be in a rush to fall in love!!!!! Clothing here is hard to find in our sizes! People here are slim and small"

Here is how I reply with some comments. It is very easy to check prices and availability of medications simply by going to the Mercury Drug website and asking them for those things. To compare prices you can also check THE GENERICS PHARMACY also online. Medications also do not last in humid environments indefinitely so just buying a large stock is simply not feasible. Aspirin is hard to get here as are many OTC medications we take for granted and usually could buy at the supermarket in America. Also, contact lenses are ridiculously cheap so no need to stock up on them, just bring your Rx.

You are correct when you say there are no seasons, except there are 2 seasons, wet and less wet but it is not hot everywhere. Cebu IS hot, but in Tagaytay and Malaybalay it is common to need long sleeves and at least 1 blanket in the evening. In fact, I would recommend the person avoid Cebu at all costs. The traffic, heat and filth are more concentrated in Cebu City than in Manila.

We are in agreement that a guy needs to be more vigilant when dealing with women here than he would be in most other countries, but good relationships are not all that hard to find.

As for clothing, I'm 5'8" tall and I have no problem finding clothes to fit, but if I were 6'2" it would be problematic unless I were in Angeles or Olongapo. However, proper jeans are impossible to find and a guy should stock up on the sizes and styles he wants and anticipates needing to wear as he gets heavier later in life.

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ACEPoolPlayer
9/21/2016 07:51 EST

My standard things that I would buy whenever I went home on vacation would be: 1) Good quality T shirts (100% combed soft cotton), It's hard to find good quality cotton T shirts in the Philippines. A lot of cheap material. 2) Underwear, the same situation. 3) Good quality socks. 4) Flip flops / Slides / Sandals of good quality. Although many brands are now available (Merrell, Keen, Teva) but expensive. 5) Favorite shampoo or Deodorant. Specific meds like previously mentioned that may not be available or may be extremely expensive.

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 15:38 EST

If somebody could live comfortably on $1,000 per month and told me they needed $4,000 per month, I would feel like somebody was trying to rip me off, but that's just me :-)

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CAteacher
9/21/2016 16:27 EST

Rescuer, cost of living would depend on the address, wouldn't it? An address in the Fort or Makati would run appreciably more than in a suburb of Manila or a more distant province.

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 19:09 EST

CAteacher ~ Of course, but 188,000 pesos per month, when most expats live on 1/4 this amount? Hmmmm.....seems to me there are many much nicer places to live with such a budget :-)

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Spruik
9/21/2016 19:29 EST

Cost of housing should be a separate item. NOT included in cost of living.

The first item can vary significantly, depending on lifestyle.

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seernai
9/21/2016 19:32 EST

188,000 a month where did you get that figure from?most guys here are on around 40- 50.000 pesos a month ordinary Filipinos are on less than 5,000 a month

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seernai
9/21/2016 19:33 EST

188,000 a month where did you get that figure from?most guys here are on around 40- 50.000 pesos a month ordinary Filipinos are on less than 5,000 a month

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seernai
9/21/2016 19:38 EST

I'm a Brit on U.K. State pension and I live ok on that it's not a fortune , if you live in urban areas it's a lot cheaper than in a city also if you can eat the local food it helps also utilities are a lot cheaper we don't have Air Con just a wall fan but I live in an area with plenty of fresh air so electric bills are cheap

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 20:07 EST

seernai ~ Yes, my point exactly. I think $4,000 USD = 188,000 pesos @ 47 pesos per USD.

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seernai
9/21/2016 20:12 EST

There are not many expats where I live who have an income Anywhere $4000 A month that is a small fortune here

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 20:36 EST

seernai ~ So I imagine you are living on much less than $4,000 USD per month?

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 20:46 EST

Yep, that's my point. You can easily live here for 1/4 that amount. So when somebody says they need 4 times that amount, I have to wonder.

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seernai
9/21/2016 20:53 EST

Hi Rescuer oh yes a lot less but bear in mind I'm in a unique position in that I do not pay mortgage here or rent just utilities and food

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Spruik
9/21/2016 20:55 EST

It would make sense if he has four wives... (unbeknown to each other) and four homes to maintain.

lol

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 21:12 EST

LOL I've met many foreigners who are supporting wives here who are living with Filipino boyfriends, unbeknownst to them. I've also met many foreigners who think they have kids....who are obviously 100% Filipino, no DNA test needed. ;-) Love is VERY blind indeed!

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 21:12 EST

LOL I've met many foreigners who are supporting wives here who are living with Filipino boyfriends, unbeknownst to them. I've also met many foreigners who think they have kids....who are obviously 100% Filipino, no DNA test needed. ;-) Love is VERY blind indeed!

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gelynch52ph
9/21/2016 21:39 EST

This thread has been ongoing for some time, but many people have misread the OP. The Original Poster said his in-laws had an income of $4000/mo. and he did NOT say he supplied it to them or that somehow they required it.

There is every possibility that they are just a successful middle class family with that much income. It also is possible they are returned American citizens with 2 SSA checks and possibly a US military retirement and thus have an income of $4000.

Why are so many people of the mind that the people are frauds or scammers? I live in $1408/mo. but if I had more income I would no doubt improve my standard of living by spending more and having a car and some other things I cannot afford.

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seernai
9/21/2016 22:19 EST

Well my partner does not come under any of those catagories and is 100% mine

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seernai
9/21/2016 22:20 EST

Well my partner does not come under any of those catagories and is 100% mine

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Spruik
9/21/2016 22:28 EST

>>> Well my partner does not come under any of those catagories and is 100% mine <<<

Seernai, that cannot be...

50% yours
50% hers

Best you can get... :)

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Spruik
9/21/2016 22:30 EST

Sorry.... GROSS misunderstanding on my part. Thought you were talking about a child... :)

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seernai
9/21/2016 22:37 EST

It's ok my partner has two professional sons both working and support her Financially that is why I said I was in a unique position as most expats either support themselves or support a wife Or partner by paying everything I don't do that

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seernai
9/21/2016 22:43 EST

What I mean is no secret boyfriends or Husband, I had this arguement in the U.K. Before I came here and I have proved them all wrong , some have apologized for their spurious comments about someone they don't know or have never met

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Andyfarquar
9/21/2016 23:09 EST

I have friends who survive on extremely small incomes but I would say to be comfortable, you need at least $2,000 per month. I live with my girlfriend in my own home but if I was renting it, the rent would be $350, the water is around $22 and the electric is $85. I spend around $100 per month on gasoline, my tv & internet (such as it is) costs another $35. We spend around $300 on eating out, cinema and ktv, which is our chosen pastime. Add in the cellphone costs, personal care and groceries will put another $400 on the bill. Car servicing, flights to visit my son in the south, replacement costs for appliances and household repairs brings the whole thing up to around $2,000 but that doesn't include annual international travel, insurances, emergencies etc.

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Rescuer
9/21/2016 23:15 EST

seernai ~ I wasn't talking about you. I was talking about other foreigners I have met.

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seernai
9/22/2016 00:24 EST

Ok no problem it's just a sore point I had before as one thing I did find and that is some pinays who live in the U.K. Tend to look down on pinays who live in the Philippines and forget where they come from discrimination is rife

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seernai
9/22/2016 07:31 EST

Again that depends on where you live and your life style My water rates are only £5 U.K. A month electric around £20 U.K. A month if you have Air con your electric bill will increase a lot

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NemesisDBA
9/22/2016 15:52 EST

How about one of the modirators kill this thread, I think all has been said.

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Rescuer
9/22/2016 16:48 EST

seernai ~ Sorry you had a bad experience. I didn't know this and was referring to others I know. Unfortunately it's an all too common experience with Pinays. The last guy I talked to made a surprise visit to his wife here and caught her with her Filipino boyfriend.

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Rescuer
9/22/2016 17:21 EST

I don't think too much can be shared about the cost of living here.

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Rescuer
9/22/2016 17:21 EST

I don't think too much can be shared about the cost of living here.

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Rescuer
9/22/2016 17:22 EST

I don't think too much can be shared about the cost of living here.

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gelynch52ph
9/22/2016 18:59 EST

Are you saying there is a lot to share or not a lot to share? Maybe you are saying we should NOT share our expenses?

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Spruik
9/22/2016 20:09 EST

>>>
@Rescuer
seernai ~ Sorry you had a bad experience. I didn't know this and was referring to others I know. Unfortunately it's an all too common experience with Pinays. The last guy I talked to made a surprise visit to his wife here and caught her with her Filipino boyfriend.
<<<

When I was visiting the Philippines often, one girl I was courting also had a local boyfriend. In fact she was scared that he might find out about 'us'.

In Australia I was married to 2 Pinays (not concurrently - lol), The first one had a secret boyfriend (learned about it through our child) and the second one likewise, although not so secret.

Yes, looking down on other Pinays is rife.

About boyfriends.. seems to me it's a bit like a kid in a lolly shop. When we visit Pinay Land, there is so much temptation and opportunity.

When the Pinay is in a western country, she is overwhelmed with choices.

Having said that, I don't want to generalise beyond saying it's nothing unusual. There are very decent Pinays also.

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Rescuer
9/22/2016 21:12 EST

No, I am saying that I think people should CONTINUE sharing their experiences with respect to expenses here.

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Rescuer
9/23/2016 01:12 EST

Spruik & seernai ~ It's the Filipino mentality. Marcos had $100 BILLION in gold certificates when Don Enrique Zobel saw him in Hawaii in 1986. I call this insane insatiable greed. With pinays it's the same regardless of where they are. They call it MMMM......more men, more money.

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seernai
10/7/2016 19:40 EST

$1200 a month is a good figure depending on your lifestyle if you have a modest lifestyle it's more than enough there are guys living here on a lot less also the exchange rate at the moment is good for US expats as It is around 48 peso to the Dollar

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