My friend, Dave, wrote an article in the past couple of days about Waiting to Retire in the Philippines. Dave mentioned, and some of the comments got into talking about the fear that so many have of moving to the Philippines when the timing is not perfect. The biggest fear that I hear from a lot of people is “how can I make enough money to live on?” So many people are hung up on the idea of how they can get a job in the Philippines, what kind of job is available to fund their choice of living in the Philippines, and so on. Call me crazy, but I don’t get it.
The way people talk, it is like they are limiting their money-earning horizons by moving to and living in the Philippines. To my mind, nothing could be further from the truth. Think about this… by moving to a different country and making a go of your life in a new culture, you are learning new things about life. You are opening yourself to new life experiences that you never had before. You are getting an education through the school of hard knocks. Whenever you get more education, you are expanding your horizons, not limiting yourself! You are gaining new skills and new knowledge that you didn’t have previously. Learning new skills and expanding your knowledge does not make your money-earning ability less, it makes it easier for you to make money! Yes, you read that right… by moving to the Philippines and expanding your base of life knowledge, you are actually making it easier, not harder, to make money.
When we decided to move to the Philippines, I was in my mid-30′s. We made the move when I was 38. We had three young kids at the time. I needed to be able to earn a living, and I had a plan of how I would do that. I, in fact, had my life all planned out on how I would be able to earn enough money to enjoy a nice life here. I did some of that stuff for a while when we moved here. But, do you know what? I am doing none of what my plan was now. Yeah, I’ve been here 11 years, and my life is nothing like what I expected it to be. In fact, I have gone through several careers in the past 11 years, and what I am doing now is totally different from what I had planned or even envisioned doing here.
Most of the work I am doing now, that generates the greatest part of my income here, is stuff that I could not have done when I first moved here, because I had no knowledge about it. Doing things like assisting people with their plans and goals of moving here is a big part of my business (including writing on this site), and when I first moved here, I knew none of this… I learned it through the experience of actually doing it! Because of my real life experience of moving to and living in the Philippines, I can give others accurate information so that they can do it too, and many people pay me for helping them do that. So, my experience became knowledge, which I was able to turn into a business. Whatever your expertise is, or what you want it to be, you can do something similar to what I did. Honestly, it is not too difficult to do, but you have to always strive to do your best and to provide accurate consultations to people. You can only gain that knowledge and accuracy through your life experience.
On a similar note, a couple of months ago, I received an e-mail inquiry from somebody who reads my site. He asked me if I felt that there would be employment opportunities for his children when they grow up should he move here and the kids live their childhood in the Philippines rather than in the USA. The fact is, if the kids are old enough that they have gained a good perspective of what the USA is all about, moving here will actually serve to make them more employable down the road. Why? Because the life experience of living in multiple countries with unique cultures is something that is sought after by big businesses. When a business needs to deal with businesses in other parts of the world, having employees with such life experience is highly sought after by that business. Can you imagine, in today’s world, the value of having a child who grew up part of his life in the USA and part in China? With China coming on strong in the economic side of things, that young person would have skills that would pay big money and be highly sought after. So stop fearing that your kids will have a hard time getting employment. The more of life that you expose your kids to, the greater the demand will be for them when they are adults.
Thinking that you or your kids will be isolated from the work market by moving to the Philippines is, in my mind, really backward thinking, because the truth that I see is quite the opposite. In many respects, you are what you think you are. If you think you will be limited, you will be. If you think that success is down the road for you, you will get closer to success with each action.
What’s that old Nike saying? Just do it!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.