Can I Really Live On $1000 A Month In The Philippines
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As a newbie to international travel I know adjusting to traveling to the Philippines will be difficult but I have made up my mind that I am going to retire there.

I'll be making a 2 month trip  there early 2014 to get accustomed to the areas.

I will retire in early 2015 but I just found out my S.S. is going to be $1000 a month and thats it. Of course I cant live very well in the US on that .

I dont need a luxury place but certainly need something better that a nipa hut.

My question is will it limit the areas I can live in and can I live a comfortable life on $1000. a month?

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About 80 million people live on less than that, Dont expect anything too grand

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Yes but you will have to watch your pennies. Stay out of the bars. Lots of good sample budgets

on this forum, have a look!

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I just found out my S.S. is going to be $1000 a month and thats it. Of course I cant live very well in the US on that .

I have 2 close American friends living on that budget.  1 has no options so he lives in Philippines and makes the best of it, actually enjoying his life and realizing that he could not live that well in the US on that money.  The second friend could not take it.  He went back to the US where he works 12 hours a day and gets paid 'under the table' because he just cannot take the lifestyle that 1,000 a month will buy him here.  I would be with the latter friend on that.

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The first question is, "What will be your age in early 2015 when you retire?" While you can start collecting Social Security at age 62, if you can wait until age 66, the benefits are much larger. There are no "clawback" provisions at age 66 years, meaning the Social Security Administration can take back a portion of the benefits if you have earned income before the full retirement age of 66 years.

 

The second question is, "Did you serve in the military in Vietnam?" Some veterans are unaware that having be assigned to Vietnam entitles the person to disability benefits for life. You don't have to prove the disability. Just being in Vietnam is sufficient to assume that you had been exposed to Agent Orange. The amount is about $400 a month.

 

The two pensions are Defined Benefits and Defined Contributions. Without going into the complications, if you had worked for a state agency for 10 years, you might be entitled to defined benefits. It might be 3 years with one office, 5 years with another branch and 2 years with a third. So long as the total is 10 or more years, it is worthwhile to find out. Defined contributions includes working for a private company. Even if you never contributed to a 401k plan, retrace your work history because some employers were contributing to a group pension and you might not have been aware there was money being set aside for your retirement. This is especially true when we were younger and retirement seemed so distant.

 

The other pension is self employment such as a SEP (Self-Employment Plan) or IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Think hard because sometimes we forget.

 

Check you assets including memorabilia items like baseball cards, collectibles, rifles, guns, etc. They might be worth $10,000, which can provide you a cushion for emergencies. If someone owes you money, now is the time to collect. If they don't have cash, ask for sometime you can convert to cash like an old car or memorabilia.

 

Lastly, make sure the $1,000 SS estimate does not include Medicare Part B deductions. In 2013, the amount is $104.95 a month automatically deducted from your SS benefits. Medicare is not portable so it is useless to keep paying for Part B if you are residing in the Philippines. 

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This question comes up all the time.  And no one can really answer it for anyone else because there are so many lifestyle choices only you can make for yourself.  Need aircon?  Hot water?  Western style house?  Bamboo house?

 

 

Here is a link to a thread where I detailed one month of actual expenses for me.  (It strayed off topic and got locked ha ha) http://www.philippines-expats.com/topic/16826-my-actual-spending-for-july-2013/  But I just tracked it again for October.  Real pain in the but to write down every peso... but for October I had to pay my regular expenses plus a lot of extras: visa extension, p2,830, our PhilHealth p900, and 2 trips back to the province to visit in-laws (Dunkirk all over again).  I have not totaled the 2 trips yet but it was probably about p6,000. And still only spent p29,000 total. 

 

So... I can live on under $1,000 a month.  Your mileage may vary.

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I'm going to add ... you can .... we spend about $1100 per months most of the time but then I'm on a 13a so no visa extensions or visa runs (cuts way down on cost) .... I am gonna add here if you do choose to live on that amount you better have a few dollars put away for emergencies ... and for gods sake DON'T SPEND THEM except for emergencies ...... there is almost no way for a foreigner to earn a living here unless you have the right visa or can work on line .... and I'm not kidding about that .... don't come here without back-up or you maybe sadly disappointed ....  remember you have no way of getting assistance should something happen to you while you live here .... unless of course you can get help or money from back in the States ... neither the Phil government nor the US government is going to help you

 

I'm not trying to discourage you just want you to do a lot of soul and financial searching BEFORE you make this life changing step ... . for me it was the best thing I have ever done ... but for some it is a bitter pill to swallow .... and when you have t swallow it 3x a day 365 days a year it can wear you down .... and it a lot of cases drive you to drink ..... JMHO

:cheersty:

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I did not intend to do this but I stayed for 3 weeks with my girls family. We all ate good, including the extra family that was there. Electric bill for the month was P412, that was lights, fans, televisions and charging phones. Cooking done over charcoal because it was cheaper than Gasul/propane, butane, whatever it is. Actual charcoal made of dried charred wood is a quick hot fire and not much of a handicap.

 

I would recommend that everyone who wants to keep a budget start out with the minimum and add to it ala carte. I am about to get a new phone/tablet [ lost my old one ] because I have found that the worst broadband connection is better than many internet cafe's. I miss being able to snatch music from youtube at a moments notice, checking e-mail anytime. I would do without air conditioning unless you need it to live for the first month until you acclimate. I have actually come to find air conditioning unpleasant, dries my sinuses out. I wish I had already checked out Naga city, which I am not going to get to this trip because I am avoiding Cebu island because of the earthquake, seems to me not to be a good time to be a tourist there, but I think it may be a likely place to live reasonably well on a budget.

 

I gurantee that whenever someone moves, even if it is just across the street, you are going to bleed money. Keep that in mind and as always, a lifeline is a good thing to have. :) 

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I think you could, but I don't think it would be much fun :) :thumbsup:

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My first response was on this topic is to determine how much retirement money you really have. It could be more than $1,000 a month.

 

The second is whether this amount would be sufficient to live comfortably in the Philippines. The answer depends on how you would budget living in North Carolina with the same amount. More likely the only option is to be a boarder in a single or shared room with a hot plate for cooking. When you compare what you can get for the same money in the Philippines, then what is waiting for you in the tropics is not bad.

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