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Why You Can’t Live In The Philippines

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Boy that’s kind of a negative sounding title, isn’t it, Dave?  And besides, who died and left you in charge … where do you get off telling me what I can and can’t do?

Of course I’m not in charge and of course I can’t tell you what to do… I wouldn’t even if I was able to.  But that title just sort of came to mind this morning when I was reading some mail I had answered in the past and remembering some of the many conversations with several thousand (over the past 10 years or so) folks who had 10,000 reasons or more why they can’t make the move and live here in the Philippines.

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I’m a great believer in a line that is attributed to Henry Ford… a young man who started out poorer than you and I put together and died as one of the richest men in the world in addition to the ‘minor’ accomplishment of putting the world on wheels.  Said Henry, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Over the years I’ve talk with roughly 8 times as many people who “think they can’t” as I have with people who “think they can.”  One reason for that disparity in numbers is, many of the “think they can”… let’s just call them the ‘can’ folks, shall we … don’t need to talk near as much as the “can’t” folks, because the “cans” often just make up their mind and do it.

The “can’ts” are often trapped in that modern malady of our times, “paralysis by analysis.”

  • Gotta find out the answer to every conceivable detail in excruciating detail.
  • Gotta reconcile all the discrepancies, one guy pays PhP50,000 a month for rent and another pays 10,000 a month for rent … Danger, Will Robinson!
  • Gotta have a “real” job within easy commuting range of my house
  • Gotta live where I am sure I have coverage under Medicare, even if I am only 40 years old
  • Gotta live only where my friends and family “understand” … I don’t live my life for me, I live through them.
  • The list goers on, ad infinitum

The real truth is, prices vary by where you live, what terms you decide to take and what terms are even available in the first place.  Last time I was in the rental market back in the USA, things weren’t very much different at all.  There are places available nearly anywhere to fit nearly any budget, but if you haven’t enough confidence in yourself to only sign up for what fits you, I’d submit you are placing yourself well into the “can’t” camp.

In today’s world, where you earn a living has nothing to do with where you live … unless you want to keep things status quo.  Finding a conventional J.O.B. (Just Over Broke) in the Philippines can be hard … but why do you need one?  Look at the newspapers and the TV reports every night.  People even with “old line” companies have no “job security” …  job security is a myth anyway.  Earning you own living is likely the only safe “career path.”

Medicare coverage is indeed an issue, and I’m a lot closer to it than the majority of you reading this, but even so, who cares?  Are you going to live as a ward of the government, being shuffled around to suit the whim of some bureaucrat, or are you going to actually “live” your life, instead of starting your death planning in your 40’s?  Frankly, both my parents died, in part, because of the horrible way elders in the US are treated under Medicare, so I don’t spend a lot of time looking forward to that “wonderful” government benefit.  If I get caught up by some horrible illness in the future, I’ll deal with what happens when it happens.  When my dad passed away, 13 years ago, a contributing factor was being shoved out of one Medicare-assisted nursing facility into another, cheaper Medicare-approved facility.  Even all those years ago, the weekly bill for the cheaper facility was more than my wife an I spend for a month to live here in the Philippines … so am I going to live my life based on the “tender mercies” of the US Medicare program?  In the end, we’re all dead anyway, I prefer to live the time I have left with a little more pleasure and dignity, thank you very much.

So what’s my point?  What’s the answer to the question in the headline?  Why can’t you live in the Philippines, if you wish to? Here’s how to find the sure and certain answer.

Get up from your computer right now, walk to the closest mirror and ask the person staring back at you.  No one else can make the decision for you, and no one else really controls whether or not you can make the trip now, next year, in 20 years or whenever.  You aren’t “forced” to stay in your current situation by any third party, you are the deciding factor to live here or never live here.  God bless you with an informed choice, not an artificially forced one.

If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you are right.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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MindanaoBob
12 years ago

Hi Dave – As I told you when you wrote this article, I love this article. It is so true! Every word you speak here is gospel. And, like you, I get e-mails from all the people who tell me why they "can't" do it too… sometimes it drives me crazy!

Tommy
Tommy
12 years ago

words of wisdom from a wise man thanks Dave i agree with every word you wrote dictation is for secretary's and i just don't want anyone dictating my life and my experiences

imagine
imagine
12 years ago

It's not just the move from country to country. This type of person exist in all facets of life. I have done a lot of travelling via sailboat, and had some pretty adventureous times. FEAR is an ugly word, but unfortunately it dominates a lot of people. They want everything to be sure, to be 100% safe. That's just not the way life is. These, FEAR, people in the sailing world are waiting to get radar. Well now they have it, but it's not the latest technology, and my water pumps are dead. It's always as soon as I get… Read more »

Paul
Paul
12 years ago

Hi Dave – I'm packin' as fast as I can. What doesn't make it into the box will just have to be done without, while what does make it will just have to be enjoyed all that much more!

Some folks are "glass half-full" and some are "glass half-empty." I'm more of an, "Oops, I spilt it" type. 😆

jonaky
jonaky
12 years ago

'Paralysis by analysis' ….. brilliant Dave, that applies to just about everything these days, you're right.

David S.
David S.
12 years ago

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Dave. You're right. It's far too easy to talk myself out of something rather than jump in and try it out for myself.

I still think it would be prudent to perform some do-diligence first, followed by a few visits before burning my proverbial bridges at home.

Out of curiosity, did you make any visits for any length of time prior to making your move?

Mike K.
Mike K.
12 years ago

A military retiree (I'll call JD) is always telling me how things were and how much he loved being stationed in the RP. "I want to sale my house and fancy cars here, buy a 2 bedroom cottage on the beach then live off my retirement and 401k in PI" he has been telling me all to often for the past couple years. Ha-ha I get frustrated hearing it over and over… Last time he said it I replied "JD you gotta be crazy. keep your job, give me your retirement and 401k so I can live in the RP…cuz… Read more »

Joe
Joe
12 years ago

Dave, very amusing and so true. Man I am so comfortable with all my luxurious problems.

Adrie Cornelissen
12 years ago

Dave your article is simple but so brilliant. Many people are caught in the middle to where they want to make their next serious move in their lives. I do agree with your writing 100% and you can count me to the people, who will make the move to the Philippines. I need another year to sort out some of my finances here in the Netherlands, but when that problem is solved I will pack my stuff and go on a one way ticket to the Philippines. In that country I feel happy, because of the people, the nature and… Read more »

chasdv
chasdv
12 years ago

Hi Dave,
Interesting article with a lot of truth in it.
I love the quotes,so true.
I have a quote of my own "Some people are still studying the roots,while others are picking the Fruit".

regards Chas.

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