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  1. Great, it seems like you're sorted then. Good luck and I hope it all works for your :)
  2. I wouldn't take a loan in the Philippines as the lending interest rates are high. Agree with you that much of the effort should be directed to due diligence, and instantly killing opportunities that might present negative risk(s). Renting in various parts of the Philippines makes sense to me, as its easy to uproot if the place isnt doing anything for you. However, if you decide to build roots in a particular place, and your rigorous due diligence passes your standards then Id commit to a land purchase and building a proper home. I prefer building a proper home over a native home because building materials and labour increase in value over time. Id rather lock in the present cost now, and hopefully, enjoy some capital appreciation when the house construction is complete. As for lump sum withdrawals from his superannuation account, he can access some super funds if he hasnt met the condition of release so long as he has unpreserved/non-restricted tax-free components available in his balance. Otherwise, best to wait til his retirement to access as this is tax-free. An alternative is to apply for an equity loan against the OP's primary home or investment property, so long as he has enough equity in place.
  3. Have you checked you superannuation components in your superannuation account? You can access your superannuation if you have unrestricted/non-preserved components, and its best that these components are tax-free. Otherwise, you need to meet a condition of release (retirement declaration, turning 65 (non-gainfully employed), financial hardship, having a terminal illness or death) to enjoy a tax-free pension or lump sum payments.
  4. Hey Steve I believe that there are other drivers that could provoke foreign men to move half-way around the world apart from love. One such factor is economic. In countries, such as Australia, there are retirees whose meagre superannuation (401k or pension) balance is insufficient to live a decent life in Australia due to higher costs of living and lowering government subsidies in place. So, they then look for countries where their dollar will afford them beyond just the basics, and the perk of attracting much younger partners with the possibility of finding a life partner who'd care for them. Another driver could be climatic. There are more mature people who live in countries with very harsh winters who now prefer a more tropical lifestyle. The promise of living by the beach, in a rural setting has a strong allure. While it's easy to suggest that love is what posters in this forum must be feeling to endure the "struggles" of living in a third world country like the Philippines, there are many other factors worth considering. Importantly, we need to investigate cases where expats left the country, divorced their Filipino partners etc..., so you have a complete set of information for analysis. Interestingly, some mathematicians came up with an equation for finding the "one". The belief is that you don't just have the one but rather you have multiple "ones". A simple mathematical guideline they posit is to reject approx. 37-39.87% of your partners then the succeeding ones are likely to be to your cuppa. Interestingly, a meta-analysis spanning 33 years, 137 research studies and with 38 thousand participants found that what kept couples (married or platonic) together was "positive illusion"-- essentially, how awesome you think of each other. This is crucial for the longevity of a relationship particularly at times of conflict. ( https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/02/18/hannah-fry-the-mathematics-of-love/ ) Cheers
  5. Have you used this concoction yourself? Im really curious if it works for all body types since we all have differing body chemistries.
  6. When you say "expat type condo", are you referring to modern western interiors & surrounds eg. Rockwell or just modern interiors and typical Manila surrounds? If you're after the former, then I dont think there is anything comparable to what Rockwell, BGC or Resorts World offer in the Manila district. However, it is likely to find well appointed condos that are spacious. The only downside is the surrounding environment can be chaotic. Whilst Makati is nice, the commute to Manila can be debilitating. You could consider Resort's World (in front of the NAIA Intl terminal). Some of the apartments are brand new and all residential buildings are constantly surveilled by security guards. The Skyway is literally at its door, so it is an easy and a quick taxi/car trip to Manila, bypassing some of the heavy traffic congestions along SLEX. In addition, it straddles nicely midway between BGC, Makati, Mall of Asia and within super easy reach to the Manila airports.
  7. Hence, the need to cook (or overcook) beef really well. Its only in expensive restaurants where prime grade beef, usually sourced in the US or Australia, can you enjoy a rare steak.
  8. You're right. I should have explained myself to the poster why I believe Japan is worth the expense, especially when I've been there more than 10x. The reason why I frequent Japan is because I am a sucker for skiing, and Hokkaido has some of the world's best snow. So whenever I can, I head to Niseko and environs as its only a 12 hr journey (end-to-end) from Sydney, which beats my 6 hr driving to our nearest ski field all for an expensive and rather disappointing snow trip. Beyond the skiing, Japan offers incredible and unique cultural experiences ranging from interesting train rides in Tokyo (heated seats in winter, musical chimes and timeliness) to the wonderful walks in Kiyomizu-dera and the Gion district in Kyoto, which takes you back to the Imperial times. There' are plenty of activities and places to cover in Japan, and 1 trip is not enough to experience most of what it offers. The ubiquity of quality food is fantastic and much is owed to the attention and care that Japanese people seem to have (head to a dept store foodcourt to see what I mean). Lastly, shopping in Tokyo is unlike anywhere else in Asia. The range of products and brands at your disposal, to me, is almost unfathomable. There's even a multi-storey dept store in Tokyo dedicated to men's stuff. As for your point about the per diem expense, I tend to budget on the high side (approx US$600 per day) as I usually stay either in 5 star hotels or in ryokans (approx $300+ per night). However, it is possible to do it on the cheap by opting to stay in love or business hotels (approx $70-$150) and dining in many fine ramen shops ($5-$15) or even 7-11 sandwiches ($3-$5, and theyre really good). So, irrespective of your budget, my belief is that the experiences you gain from having to see Japan is well worth any amount of money you spend.
  9. I flew with Jetstar from Manila to Osaka 2 years ago, and it was a great experience. The plane was modern, the flight was smooth and the route gave me a beautiful view of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Batanes islands up north. If you do choose to fly with them, make sure you bring snacks and drinks that'd last you 3 and a bit hours, as inflight food was quite pricey. Furthermore, Jetstar has just released new direct flights from/to Tokyo and Nagoya ( http://newsroom.jetstar.com/jetstar-japan-offers-new-low-fares-services-from-tokyo-osaka-and-nagoya-to-manila/ ). Time your ticket purchase during one of their specials to avail cheaper ticket prices. Japan is well worth the expense.
  10. ahh yeah, those steamy and BBQ-d corn brushed with Star margarine :lol: :lol:
  11. heh. At the Ayala Center in Makati, there is/was (not sure if its still there) a restaurant called 'The Australian Outback'. It wasnt the real deal, and in fact the interiors ambience and choice of music were more American than Australian. So I was kind enough to write down a note in their suggestion box suggesting to infuse some 'Australiana' to make ithe experience more authentic. I even wrote down 'Land Downunder' as needing a permanent fixture in their music list. So in my subsequent visit 2 years later, the indoor space hadnt changed much but the music had a lot more Australian flavour. No 'Men at Work' nor 'Cold Chisel', but plenty of Kylie Minogue,Tina Arena and Savage Garden soundtracks. They're just lovesick to the core. :lol:
  12. Im like you and err in caution. My thinking is that even if the economists' forecast are only half right, in a span of 10 years your property purchase, in a premium Manila district, is likely to appreciate in capital value by around 50%. Bottomline, buying a property makes more financial sense, so long as you can include your protectionist clauses so you're not dudded out of your own property. Another realisation that I had is it is likely that OFWs based in OECD countries, would borrow from their base country's lending institution rather than in the Philippines because the interest rates are far more competitive. In my case, a portion of my Manila condo was paid for by my Australian bank secured by my property portfolio in Australia. The lending risk is therefore within Australia and not likely to be in the Philippines. Furthermore, Ive encountered a few property investors who paid fully in cash using their savings or some funds from their pension fund. Considering that many of the 10 million Filipino OFWs are nearing retiring age, the search and inevitable purchase of a home base in the Philippines is starting to become a key financial decision by them.
  13. When I need some healthy food on the go and Im near a big supermarket, I head to the fruits and vegetables section and request for my fresh fruits to be sliced and placed in a styrofoam container. For P50, one could get a small, whole papaya and a few pieces of bananas. Another "streetfood" that I like is fresh young coconut juice and meat for around P20 and paired with either freshly fired turon or banana-q for P8 and P12 respectively. Taho is another healthy alternative for P25 for a full mug.
  14. Very well done and thank you for sticking with this case right through the end. These cases provide so much lessons learned to expats who desire to create a life in a place unfamiliar to them. Im really saddened by the story of this hopeful young Swiss man who wanted to pursue his entrepreneurial dream, which was then cut short by the ill-motives of malicious individuals. I hope that similar incidents are curbed through the strengthening of the expat communities in the Philippines, irrespective of which country we had come from.
  15. Im not sure if anyone else notices the change in accent when a Filipino sings. Its as if the heavy Filipino/visayan etc... accent magically goes away and every word sung becomes mellifluently clear. When the singing ends theyre back to their natural accent. :hystery:
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