Do you envy the life of luxury that people in developed countries enjoy, wishing that you too could live such a life but without the $ 10,000 of monthly income necessary for that life? Well, I challenge you to consider living in the Philippines, either full time or part time. Retirement is not a question of age; it’s about having enough ongoing income. With a monthly income of $ 2,000 (or pension or annuity), one can truly live a life of luxury. I present how this is done and list the main expenses of living in the Philippines as a foreigner.
# 1 DO NOT LOCATE YOUR RESIDENCE IN MANILA.
Manila is a bustling and exciting city, but full of congestion and expensive real estate, like any major city in the Western world. The further one gets away from Manila, the lower the cost of accommodation. Of course, there is always a compromise that the more remote the location, the less western world comfort and conveniences you will find.
For this reason, I always advise people to consider the main secondary cities of Cebu or Davao, or the Subic Bay area, or tourist or university communities such as Baguio, Dumaguete, Tacloban and Cagayan De Oro. The cost of housing in these areas are substantially below Manila, yet they have readily available air access in and out of the community, and because foreigners tend to favor residency in these areas, there are more exclusive accommodations to choose from.
The two cities with the most luxurious accommodations for a Westerner outside of Manila are Cebu City and Davao City.
In these two cities, you can expect to pay anywhere from $ 300 per month for a small apartment to as high as $ 800 per month for a luxury home in a gated community with a pool. A similar rental in the US would cost between $ 3,000 and $ 4,000 per month. A similar house in Manila would cost around $ 1,500 to $ 2,000 per month, or more, depending on the location in Manila.
# 2 HIRE A COUPLE OF SERVANTS AND MAYBE A DRIVER.
For the luxurious life, you will want a couple of maids, one to cook and shop, and another to tend to the laundry and housekeeping. They will do all of your grocery shopping (at a lower cost than you could get), wash and iron all of your clothes, and have your favorite food ready for you at every meal. A true luxury that is completely unaffordable in the western world at $ 2,000 a month. Two maids would cost less about $ 100 to $ 120 per month.
A driver is probably desired if you decide to buy your own car. While living in Cebu City a few years ago, I had a new vehicle that I was driving myself, but I quickly discovered that by hiring a driver for $ 80 a month, the vehicle was always kept in perfect condition and I had someone to attend to. . to the vehicle while in restaurants, shopping or on business appointments. I never had to worry about where to park the vehicle or petty theft or destruction of the vehicle. While living in Butuan City, I tend not to use a personal vehicle as much, but have found that it is still worth having a driver.
# 3 BUY A GOOD INTERNATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN
With an income of $ 2,000 a month, you would not opt for local health insurance programs in the Philippines, but would buy an international one for foreigners living abroad. Depending on your age and preconditions, a policy that you would pay $ 500 a month for in the US would cost you around $ 200 a month.
# 4 ALL OTHER ITEMS
With your housing, cleaning services, transportation and medical care provided at approximately $ 1,200 per month, this leaves you $ 800 per month for everything else. Utilities (electricity, water, phone, cell phone, high-speed Internet service, and cable TV) will total about $ 150 per month, bringing the cumulative total to $ 1,350 per month.
This leaves $ 650 a month for food, entertainment, fuel for your car, travel, and personal care items. Groceries will cost about $ 250 a month, and fuel and personal care items could add up to $ 50 a month, leaving about $ 350 for restaurant meals, entertainment and travel. Dining out a few times a week and monthly entertainment would cost about $ 200 a month, so you would still have $ 150 a month of surplus funds to save.
CEBU CITY OR DAVAO CITY – WHICH TO CHOOSE?
Each is different from the other in many ways, and Davao City’s living costs are lower than those in Cebu City, so your lifestyle there can be even higher.
Cebu has a large population of foreign retirees relative to its population. Foreigners are drawn to the abundance of beaches and resorts. It is a beautiful city, surrounded by mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. Like Manila, it also has its modern and exclusive shopping centers, casinos, and great nightlife.
Those who love to live near the coast, have an interest in diving and other water sports, but like the efficiency and comforts of a smaller modern city, then Cebu City would be their choice.
Davao City is THE city of Mindanao, and by square miles it is the second largest city in the world. Its population is approximately 1.4 million. Located in southern Mindanao, it is the more rural of the two cities and has the lower cost of living. So if you enjoy the big city lifestyle and want more money in your pocket at the end of the month, Davao is the place for you.
The city of Davao does not receive a large number of foreign travelers like Cebu City, but for those seeking outdoor adventure, the options are plentiful. Living in Davao is a bit like living in both an urban and rural city, as the city has modern shopping malls, upscale gated communities and hotels, but by living there you are deeply rooted in the land outside of the city.
The important thing about living in the Philippines is doing your research, based on your wants, needs, and desires, and bonding with someone who has gone before you and who can bring you wisdom by guiding you through the variety of questions and anxieties.