Day dreams pipe dreams or whatever you choose to call them they are still dreams. Winter sets in; you are shoveling snow out of the driveway to head out into the pitch black freezing morning to get to work on time. To pass the time forging through the snow with 5,000 other drivers all going the same direction you stick that Jimmy Buffett USB into the car stereo, and blaring back comes “Cheeseburgers in Paradise’ your fingers start tapping on the steering wheel (In the ten and two configuration of course) and feet start moving (Even though you’re wearing mukluks slippers)
Now the dream kicks in; you remember that warm tropical day on that beach in wherever Philippines, that cold SMB in your hand, that large group of kids squealing with delight while splashing along the shore…Whoa panic…. You almost rear ended that Snowplow in front of you. Stop dreaming and pay attention to the road.
You’re now safely at work, and prior to making the boss his (Her) money you log on to a Philippine Website (LiP I’ll wager!) and read about others who have escaped the rat race and slid quietly towards the equator.
Oh you want to do it, you’ve paid your dues, when does the fun in your life start? And that my friend is your decision, like so many others you’ll have to make before you board that plane.
The Philippines has three regions Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Which is the best? You’ll not drag me into that discussion for that would start a Donnybrook on line that will go on for years. Suffice it to say if you are married to a Pinay you might live where her family is from. If dating a girl from here you will end up where she is. Or if a single guy you might jump from one region to another until you walk down some road and say; Yup, this is it!
You decided to stay, now another trouble-ling decision, should you RENT, BUILD or BUY. I rented for a few years and then built a house. But my advice to you is: If you do it the way you want to you’ll not be wrong. Everyone has an opinion but only yours matters.
Next, how much money will you need? Here is another subject that you’ll have to decide again on your own. There will be some that say you can live well on $500.00 a month. Maybe they can, but I sure don’t want to. I live on between $1,000.00 and $1,500.00 a month. I’ll break it down by dollars per month. Housing (ZERO) I built a house. Electric (Here on Luzon) and water $250.00 Satellite dish ($200.00 installed) then $20.00 per month. Gas for the car $40.00 per month (Insurance for house and car $700.00 per year) I paid cash for the car and bought a new 2014 Mitsubishi G4 with a 3 cylinder gasoline engine it hates fuel. My food bill varies between; $200.00 to $300.00 a month, because I still like American food for the most part.
I have bought many pre owned cars before the new one I have now. I shopped until I found the right price and kept them in great shape, I sold them all for a profit, and figured (I kept records) it cost me, my best guess, is between $100.00 to $150.00 a month to drive each one. I couldn’t rent a car for that.
Here is what I recommend: try to live on less than you have, and bank the difference so there will be a good size buffer for repairs and emergencies because they are going to happen more often than you can plan for. Murphy’s Rule: Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Then remember that Murphy was an optimist! The more money you have in savings the better you will feel. (That was an obvious as hell statement, but still very true) The amount needed is up to you and we each should decide that on our own.
Here is something you need to really think about, while listening to that Jimmy Buffett song in your car and it snowing outside. Bob Martin will also tell you this, if asked: “There is no paradise on earth because paradise truly is a pipe dream. But with an open mind, a sense of humor and the patience of Job (Bible reference not employment LOL) the Philippines will be as close as you’ll find to paradise and you will stop searching for it after you start living here.
I do not have all the answers for you, this article applies to me and how I did it 25 years ago. The best way and I’ll repeat it, the best way will be “YOUR WAY” but I’ll tell you one thing I know to be true…”If you come on in, the water will be fine!”