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About Maxheadspace

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  1. Shopping for my wife's house in the Philippines. Any recommended ways to transfer money into the Philippines from the US that won't carry a hefty transfer fee? Like around $100K. Or am I just stuck with the regular bank-to-bank transfer?
  2. Any special allowances for those vaccinated? Got my second shot two weeks ago so I should be 95% immune, per CDC.
  3. OMG I will never touch Fi again! I bought a Fi approved phone and got a fi account. Traveled around Asia and half the places where it was supposed to work, it didn't. Then somehow my bills started climbing. I had my phone off for like a month and the bill was outrageous. I called to ask about it and they couldn't explain, but did tell me if the phone is off I still get charged for incoming calls that I don't answer. I cancelled on the spot. What a freakin' nightmare.
  4. I bought a Skype phone service account. It's VOIP, but does everything a regular mobile phone will do except make emergency 911 calls. Select the area code you want and pick a number. I pay around $50 a year for the account, and if you place calls to the US it's around two cents per minute. It's an app on your phone. When people call your US Skype number it rings on your mobile just like a regular call. If you are in a wifi hotspot, it doesn't use any of your phone credit. I give it out only to important contacts, like my bank, Department of Motor Vehicles, etc, just to keep the stray c
  5. So?!? No update? My wife wants an in-ground pool at the future Philippines house. I had a large pool that came with my house in Florida long ago. First year we were splashing in the pool every night. Second year maybe once or twice a week. Third year I only went out there to refresh the chemicals. I still like the idea of a pool, though.
  6. I think you're right. Living in Korea I find them to be very considerate. But it takes only one bad apple and the landlord lumps all of that nationality into the bad basket. Long ago when I lived in Germany I took over an apartment from another American woman. The landlord really didn't want to rent to me because I was an American, but I convinced them to give me a try. Three years later they were very sad that I had to leave. Truth be told, the woman who rented the apartment before me really was an "ugly American." I don't blame the landlords for feeling that way.
  7. We're looking in the Lipa area as well. But my wife wants a hobby farm, maybe a hectare, and we'll build from ground up. We've been looking on line as well, and I think everyone selling on line is looking for a rich American/European/Australian, so the prices are pretty jacked up. We've been working with a woman who we dealt with before on a real estate transaction, but I think she's in Cavite and doesn't stray much further south than Tagaytay, at least during COVID epidemic. If you're still looking for a real estate person I can pass you her name. We're putting everything on hold right no
  8. Excellent news. We plan to remain in the Philippines enough every year to qualify for no US income tax. Although I do plan to do some part time work as a US immigration attorney in the Philippines, which I think will force me to consult a tax specialist to sort out.
  9. May see you there. Retiring soon and also looking at Tagaytay and Lipa. Wife is leaning towards Lipa. Cheaper. Doing the on-line property search and have a few in mind. Wife is paranoid about COVID-19, so she's not traveling there any time soon. It's very COVID-safe here in Korea at the moment.
  10. If I opt for the retirement visa in the Philippines, will my retirement income from the US be subject to tax? If it is, is there another visa version that avoids this tax? I searched, but didn't find anything exactly on topic. Thanks! Max
  11. One year to retirement and this has to happen. Most of my retirement funds are in the market, so I'll probably end up delaying a tad bit until the market comes back. Pension is unaffected, so I have options. P.S., In the meantime, I've been dumping all my spare change into the market now that it's low, so I'll get a boost when it does return.
  12. There are definitely benefits to just hiring a driver. Last year I took my wife's family on a distant vacation from Manila to the provinces, ten total with my wife and I. Hired a driver with a late model Toyota 11 passenger van for five days, one price, which included a flat fee for the driver's food and lodging: $500 plus gas. He drove us around morning, afternoon and evening every day to all the sites we wanted to see. You couldn't touch that in the US or Europe! Unfortunately I don't know any drivers in the Cebu area.
  13. What do you mean by a container? The big, truck size container, the wood boxes that fit inside the truck size container, or something like the balakbayan boxes? We shipped dish-pack size balakbayan boxes all the time to my wife's family in the Philippines. We went through the little Philippines store in our neighborhood in Virginia suburbs of DC. About $90 shipping by volume, so you can cram in as much as you like as long as it fits in the box. If you're looking for the big shipping containers I'm sure the balakbayan companies can negotiate something.
  14. We're actually talking Immigration rather than Customs, right? So I'm wondering if there is some benefit to the Philippine government. Is there some kind of fee associated with the questioning? If this is a chronic issue with people missing their flights I imagine folks will be raising hell. I'm just wondering if my wife is going to face this when we go back to the Philippines next month.
  15. There are almost 1.5 billion Chinese nationals. There's no question they're going to spill over into neighboring nations for vacation, especially now that they have disposable cash.
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