Most foreigners with experience living in the Philippines will likely recommend building up savings in their home county prior to relocating to the islands. Philippine related websites such as this one (or YouTube videos) do not discuss in much detail some more general retirement issues such as money management. For example, this site does occasionally give you information about the cost of living, or how to transfer funds between countries, however, it doesn’t discuss how you should manage your savings. Money management is beyond the scope of this website. This website is Philippine focused, and it fulfills that purpose exceedingly well (in my opinion).
Many visitors to this site either plan to or already are, retired in the Philippines. One of my favorite internet sites is the Early Retirement Forum. It doesn’t contain daily articles, however, there are always several active discussions regarding retirement. It is my impression that most of the Early Retirement Forum contributors are wealthier than myself, and more knowledgeable about many retirement subjects, such as money management. I visit the site often to gain insight, and for the entertainment value since as a group they seem to have a good sense of humor. The site members also reach out to each other for guidance. For example, one member asked for advice regarding how much information to share with his children regarding his wealth. One subject you won’t find in the Early Retirement Forum is what life is like in the Philippines. It’s mainly the USA focused.
So what’s my point? Well, regardless of your expat status, you would be wise to keep learning from more knowledgeable people about both the Philippines and retirement issues in general, especially money management. In other words, if you’re reading this, that’s not enough. Since you are already visiting this site, you’re likely doing a good job increasing your Philippine knowledge. Are you also increase your knowledge about your home countries tax laws, social security rules, or investment strategies? Do you have a plan to at least keep your savings even with inflation (both in your home country and the Philippines)? Do you even know the current Philippine inflation rate? I’ll give you a hint. It’s more than you can get in a 1 year USA bank certificate of deposit (CD). If you are financing your Philippine retirement with USA certificates of deposit, you might have a problem.
One of the things that drive me crazy is watching less educated or less knowledgeable people handle their hard earned savings. That applies to Americans and Filipinos. Most are smart enough to recognize that savings should be invested in order to earn more money, but they fail to properly assess risk and fail to look beyond their immediate surroundings. Some invest in small stores or some sort of small business. Some partner with people they haven’t known very long and blindly trust them. Whether in America or the Philippines, when people take a leap of faith into something they know little about, the results are generally predictable and more often than not, end in various degrees of failure. It’s especially sad if poor financial decisions are made by retirees since they have little opportunity to recover from big losses. This is why I encourage retirees to visit websites like Early Retirement Forum and see how successful people are handling their finances. I’ll give you hint regarding how most of them have handled their savings. They learn from history and seek the council of others with more experience. Basically, it’s what many are doing by visiting this site. The only difference is the subject matter.
When you combine a good expat knowledge of the Philippines with a respectable knowledge of money management, retirement is much closer to being stress-free. You could be an expat with an impressive knowledge of everything related to the Philippines, but what good will it do if your source of funds can’t sustain your desired long-term Philippine lifestyle? If you are simply too lazy to manage your savings, I’ll be happy to help. Add me to your bank account, send me the account number, and I’ll take it from there. Don’t worry when you see your account balance go to zero. Sleep well knowing I have invested your money elsewhere, probably in my own new virtual currency called Stevecoin (not to be confused with Bitcoin). No need to thank me.