Planning to live in the Philippines some day? I’m sure one of the foremost questions on your mind is “How much does it cost to live in the Philippines?”, or “Do I have enough money to live in the Philippines?” That was certainly one of the most researched topics I did before retiring to the Philippines in July 2009 to live in rural Guimaras with my beautiful Filipina wife.
Let me attempt to answer those questions with this: What kind of lifestyle do you expect to maintain in the Philippines, and where do you plan to live? If you’re planning a Western-type lifestyle with all of the conveniences you’ve become accustomed to over the years, then be prepared to pay for that once you make your move to the Philippines. Here’s a few things I do not have (because I do not have the budget for it or it’s not available in our rural province of Guimaras) that I enjoyed back in the States:
- My favorite foods. I miss Tombstone Pizzas (and a regular oven for that matter.) Genuine Johnsonville Brats (now there’s a place at the SM Hypermarket that sells them, and the sales girl claims they are authentic, but they just don’t taste the same to me and are expensive.) Good hot dogs are also hard for me to find (but I did get a lot of good suggestions from this “Hot Dog” post I did.)
- A hot shower. I could purchase a hot water heater for the shower in our CR (Comfort Room/Rest Room.) Our contractor has left outlets that we can plug a heater into, but frankly, I don’t want to spend the extra P5,000 to P12,000 (113 USD to 272 USD) at the Ace Hardware in Iloilo at this time. So I can live with the cold water, which actually has been quite chilly this past month as we have experienced lows around21 ºC (69.8 ºF), but with the weather turning a lot hotter in the next months, especially March, April, and May, that cold water will feel pretty good. My asawa uses water from our well in the front yard which I haul in for her every day. She feels that water is somewhat warmer than the water from our shower which we get from our city water department in Guimaras for a cost of about $5.25 (USD) a month, and that’s for a family of five.
- My truck. While I’ve posted many times in the past about not needing to own a vehicle in the Philippines, I still miss driving my red Chevrolet Colorado around the back roads on a stretch of Historic Route 66 that ran behind our small town of Auburn, Illinois, where we lived. That stretch of brick road was built in the mid-1920’s and snaked through some back country roads. I do miss that, but certainly do NOT miss the daily commute to work one bit (especially with the extremely bad blizzard conditions that have been hitting the Midwest and other parts of the United States.)
What I’m attempting to illustrate is this: If you plan to move or retire to the Philippines and expect or desire to live the type of lifestyle you might be enjoying now, than you might as well stay put unless you have a substantial monthly income that will support such a lifestyle. Sure, it’s cheaper to live in the Philippines, for the most part, than what it cost us in the States, and the US Dollar is still worth a lot more than a Philippine Peso (a little over 44 pesos to 1 USD currently.) But there’s a trade off in good medical facilities available to us in rural Guimaras where we reside, and if you have any existing health issues you better think long and hard before moving here.
I can’t tell you if you have enough money to live in the Philippines. We’re spending around 750 US Dollars a month and support five people on that. Everyone has different needs and expectations. Our house is already paid for, and we surely don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, plus, we live in a rural province so costs are cheaper than say, Manila.
My eBook, The Philippines Expat Advisor can give you some valuable information and help in planning your move. At 350 pages and a price tag of only $29.99 it can be downloaded and available to you in just a few minutes. So if you have a dream of quitting the rat race and telling your boss to “Take This Job and Shove It!,” my eBook can help.