I’m retired from the US Navy as a Senior Chief with 22 years in, I have a small pension from when I was a merchant Seaman and a large 401K from the same job (Thank you very much) which I converted to a few IRA’s I still have never accessed. And at age 62 I started my Social Security pension which BTW I earned while working and paying into my entire working life it is not a gift from congress.
While still working I used my pay checks every month to build a house, mortgage free, plus I spend $600.00 a year for homeowners Insurance (Typhoons fire or whatever) when I retired I knew all was taken care (Or the best one can know). I am from the school of “Own your house” which does not mean that renting is wrong; it was just not for me. Even in the Navy I bought a house or Condo at every duty station, and sold it or leased it when I transferred, at the end of my 22 years I’d made a tidy profit, and the renters and government because of the military housing allowances mostly paid for each one. (Thank you Uncle Sam and all my past tenants)
Here in the Philippines I must have Food, Electric, water and internet. That is, my entire monthly NUT (expenses) that I need to live. When I’m close to having spent my monthly budget there are things I do; like, parking the car and using a Jeepney. Plus I can skip a few times out with friends during the month or just have them up to the house for lunch and a cocktail. Not bragging but I spend far less than half of my pensions per month to live here. If I lived in the states I’d have to get a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart.
I’ve never been that free spending Millionaire for a Day” kinda of guy, as a matter of fact; I just bought my first New Car since 1978. As A merchant seaman I didn’t live anywhere (A $60.00 a month storage locker in Florida with my Jeep and personal mementos paid for 5 years in advance was all I had). Then I drove the Jeep to San Francisco put it in storage and sold it two years later because the Philippines couldn’t tell me in advance what the custom duties were on my Jeep. Then for six months at a time the ship’s housed and fed me and then during my two months vacation between ships I used rental cars and stayed at resorts, until I married Mayang. (And my life improved)
When I retired I had my (401K) untouched for all the years I worked as a seaman plus, bank accounts from my housing investments in the Navy and remember I was single.
From 1986 until 2000 I had not spent any of my Navy Retirement.
This is my story, not anyone else’s, some people were smarted than me and are far better off, and I for one, applaud them. But here is what I know, with a healthy savings account, a decent pension, or as some have done using their toughness to go it alone and earn your way here; the Philippines just might be the place for you. But the person, who comes with a few bucks and a small pension, is in for the shock of their lives. If you go native you might make it. But remember there is a vast difference between surviving and living the dream.
There are thousands of people retired here and 99.9% are doing well and planned well for their retirement. As I’ve pointed out many times before: I don’t lecture, I just write about my life here, you take from it what is pertinent to you and forget the rest. But here is a fact: With the right attitude this could be the most rewarding experience in your life. I’ve been here twenty plus years and still love it here. Come on in; the water’s fine.