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About Ninpo2dan

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  • Birthday 01/21/1978

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    Oregon, USA

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  1. Quick scan shows flight 9 months out, best rate is to Taipei for $41. If anyone has better suggestions, or knows where to look for discount deals, please feel free to add those suggestions here. Thanks.
  2. Awesome, thank you for the answers. Now I just need to play around with figuring out the cheapest throw-away option, but I have a few weeks before I buy tickets.
  3. So when I keep doing the 6-month extensions, they aren't going to ask to see another exit ticket? My first exit ticket will have expired when I do the next 6-month extension.
  4. So for now, I just buy a one-way ticket from US to Manila, and then a "throw away" ticket to the cheapest place possible, dated more than 6 months from my arrival? I'm guessing at least 9 months from arrival. Then I keep buying a new 6-month throw away each time I renew the tourist visa?
  5. The only time I plan to leave is when the VA finally requires me to return for my next C&P evals. That could be another year or two. Other than that, I don't have plans to leave. I might also end up getting married in the next year or so.
  6. As an update, I have a few more questions that I'd like to get answered. For anyone that was reading this topic from the beginning, please disregard previous questions as all of it is being worked out. Right now, my plan is to arrive May 4 in Manila. I'll be booking a hotel near a friend's house for the 4th and 5th, and she is helping me get an apartment arranged. I will have the apartment before I arrive, but it will take a few days to go buy some furniture and appliances and have the apartment "ready for move-in". I will be sticking with the tourist visa for a while, doing the renewals until I'm on the 6-month extensions. After 60 days I'll be getting my ACR and opening a local account, probably with BPI. I have confirmed all of the expenses, and made sure my budget allows for a safety bracket. No worries about income or savings at this time. My question is regarding the exit ticket requirement. From what I'm reading, my "throw away" exit ticket can be to anywhere. What I am confused about is the departure ticket date. If I plan to keep renewing every 6 months for another year or so, do I just keep buying a new throw-away ticket every 6 months to coincide with my visa extensions?
  7. Yeah, I have a hotel I'll be staying for the first couple nights. I have a friend there looking for better long-term housing.
  8. No, I was reading one of the sites that listed requirements for tourist visa. Mentioned things like need return ticket, etc. The proof of hotel stay was a new one for me, don't remember needing that when I last visited but that was in 2004. Thought maybe the rules had changed, but I am now guessing the information was inaccurate.
  9. The VA appeal will be approved this time, they messed it up the first time and I got stuck with bad examiners. I'm already being treated for those conditions, so there's medical evidence that they exist and are service-connected. It's just annoying that the claims system is separate from the treatment system, would be a lot smoother if they worked together. As for the SSDI, that is also going to be approved, due to the above. I'll make sure I have enough in savings to come back here if needed, or in case I need emergency funds there for medical/etc. I don't plan to move until after the SSDI is granted though, and that should be more than enough to live on there. I already know the area I plan to live, at least at first, so I'll get a cheap but not bad apartment for a while. I've had someone who lives near there help me plan a budget, and it shouldn't cost more than p35k a month, which is only about $700. That will leave enough extra each month to throw into savings again.
  10. To start off, I'm a disabled veteran getting VA disability pay, and I'm currently waiting for my VA claim appeal to finish. When it's complete and my rating is increased, I'll be making plenty of money to retire in the Philippines. I'm also going to be applying for SSDI, which will add a small amount on top of the VA pay. Not to mention, I'm going to get a fairly decent sum in back-pay from the VA. The thing is, I'm looking at about another year or so before the VA appeal is finally done, and I really don't want to wait another 1-2 years to get the hell out of this place. I'll be meeting with a lawyer at the beginning of next month to file SSDI, since I'm already being treated for service-connected disability at the VA. I'm told it should only take a few months for that to start paying out, at which time I think I can live ok in the Philippines. So my plan is to get the SSDI, combined with the VA disability I'm already getting, and that combined should be about $2000 a month. I can then move over there, live off of that for now, and just come back to US when I need to do the final medical exams. When the VA appeal is done, and I'm getting paid my full amount, then I can fully settle in. So when I do first move there, since I don't have a bunch of money saved up, I'm thinking of just getting the regular tourist visa and then extending it as needed until the appeal is done. So that's 30 days at first, then extended up to 3 years? Once the VA appeal is done and I have my full income and back pay, I'll be getting the SRRV. I'm only 41 right now, so I have to choose one of the options that requires a large bank deposit. But once I turn 50, I qualify for the military courtesy SRRV, which only requires a $1500 deposit. I'm assuming that means first I pay the $20,000 and when I turn 50, I take that money back and reapply for the new one? Does anyone else have experience with those types of visa? My other concern is that I was told the tourist visa requires proof of hotel reservations or stay? I plan to start renting an apartment/condo/house as soon as I move there, not stay in a hotel. So how would that work? Will I even be allowed to start renting with a tourist visa?
  11. Mine is a 2000, had less than 120k when I bought it a few years ago, but it's still a nice ride and only cost $20k. I doubt I'll buy a new one, regardless if it's a Toyota or Lexus, when there are more important things to spend money on like a house. But if I could get a fairly new one for maybe $80k, I wouldn't mind dropping half on a down and finance the rest. I plan to do a lot of travel once I move there, so my vehicle is something I'll be spending a fair amount of time in. I'm a disabled veteran, going to be getting a 100% rating and adding in SSDI (if that's possible to retain overseas), so my monthly income is only going to be about $4000-$4500. But due to the VA appeal taking so long, I'll be getting a lump payment of around $150k just before I leave. I think the SRRV is $20k at first (which I get back when I'm 50, only 41 now), and with all other expenses that should leave enough for a car. But it wouldn't matter if I was bringing in $50k a month, there is honestly no other place in the world that I'd want to live more than the Philippines.
  12. That's one of the awesome points with Lexus. Unlike BMW, Mercedes, etc., you can get a Lexus serviced at any Toyota dealership. They may have to order some parts if you need repairs, but much of the work is the same as their Toyota counterpart. There are obviously some differences between the two, especially when you start looking at stuff like the electronic suspension system or other unique features on the Lexus. But for most general repairs or regular maintenance, any Toyota shop should be able to do the work. I still remember the nightmares we had with the BMW, while the Lexus has been great to service.
  13. I've always loved the 4Runner, and the Lexus comparison is the GX series. I spent over 2 years looking for one in my area, and one day when I went to the dealership to look for a car for my ex, I saw the LX. I thought the same thing at first, it was a bit larger. But after driving it around, it felt great. It was almost like being back in a HMMWV, the vehicle has this large spacious feel inside, comfortable and more roomy. From the outside, you can tell it's wider, but not too much. I currently live in southern Oregon, and the snow here can be nasty. Having a wider wheelbase improves stability in this crap. Yeah, sure, mileage sucks when you're only getting 12-15 mpg with Premium fuel, but it's a damn comfortable ride and I feel safe driving in any weather. I looked up Toyota vehicles available in the Philippines a while back, and it looks like they have pretty much the same selection, although some stuff has different names. For example, the 4Runner is the Fortuner. They also have the Hilux, which I think is cool, but it's not available in the US. Prices are messed up though.. The cost of a new Lexus is, easiest way to say it, ?????? retarded. A brand new 2019 Lexus LX 570 with all the addons is about $98k here. A similar configuration in the Philippines, minus a few options, is about $168k. That's a serious difference in price, especially when you're talking about a country where things are supposed to be cheaper. The new Land Cruiser is about $95k there, while it's only about $85k here. I think the Land Cruiser in the Philippines is also a diesel, unlike regular gasoline here. There are a few reasons why I'm thinking the Land Cruiser is a better option than the Lexus. First, the Lexus is going to have higher insurance costs, higher maintenance costs, higher repair costs, etc. It's a luxury vehicle, you get what you pay for, but I guess it comes down to "Is the extra cost worth the extra luxury?" My other concern is that being a Lexus, is it going to attract unwanted attention there? Are thieves going to target my vehicle more often because of the make? Do I need to hire security when I park it at the mall? Do I need to keep it behind a barbwire-topped gate at home? Are drivers going to act more aggressively in traffic because of it? I still have some time before I move, so there's plenty of time to think about which option to take. But I want to make sure that which ever vehicle I do buy, I can get gas for it regardless of where I go, and I can get maintenance and repairs when needed (using the proper parts).
  14. Regarding the Voc Rehab question, I might be able to provide some information. Up front, I want to make it clear that I don't work for the VA so my information may be inaccurate. But I am current enrolled in the VA Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation program, and have been for almost 5 years now, so I do have personal experience. It's important to note that the entire purpose of the Voc Rehab program is to educate/train the veteran in a career path that will allow them to find employment. This option is made available to veterans that currently lack sufficient education or job skills to gain "meaningful" employment, which basically means a job that is better aligned to the veteran's age, previous experience/skills, and necessary income to maintain a comfortable, fair lifestyle. Myself, for example, served as Infantry and Field Artillery, which aren't really applicable to the civilian sector. I was having trouble finding work that wasn't flipping burgers or pumping gas, so they accepted me into the program in order to earn a degree (Business Management) that would apply to a decent job. If a veteran is rated for total disability, they will not be accepted into the program because they are deemed unable to work. If the veteran already has a degree or sufficient job skills/experience to find work in their area, they will likely be denied. The entire purpose of the program is to get you working, where without the program you are unable to find such work. The Voc Rehab program can be used towards a technical skill, such as a certificate in welding, or it can be used towards a college degree. Which ever course you want to take, you must research a lot of info and submit that research to the VA in order to be approved. They are going to look at factors such as: Is that job in demand in your area? Are you unable to find work without the training? Will completing the training be a near-guaranteed chance of obtaining "immediate" employment? My concern is that there are probably no open jobs in the Philippines for a foreigner, unless he's interested in working for some large corporation in a high-end field, and that is unlikely without years of experience in addition to any college requirements. The question is: Are there in-demand jobs available right now in the Philippines that would accept an expat with a fresh certificate/degree and no experience? From what I've being told and from what I can gather on various forums, there simply aren't many (if any) jobs like that for expats. He might be able to convince the VA to enroll him in a Voc Rehab program in the states, which he can then use the certificate/degree in the Philippines, as long as the VA is never aware of his plans to move. But then again, as mentioned before, I don't think there will be any available jobs for an expat, regardless of certificate/degree, without having sufficient experience.
  15. I am still living stateside, and I've been driving a Lexus LX 470 for a few years now. I've fallen in love with the car and many of its features, and I'm thinking about getting one when I move to the Philippines soon. One concern that I have though, is that the car requires premium (92+) fuel. I have seen gas stations in the Metro Manila area selling Premium during my previous trips, but I never really paid attention to it at the time when visiting outside the Metro area. I usually just rented a standard Toyota SUV that ran on regular. So my question is, how common is it to find gas stations outside the Metro area, like some of the provinces in the outskirts, to be selling Premium fuel? Is it fairly easy to find respectable gas stations that are using quality additives, or is there too much risk in getting crappy fuel that would lead to problems? If Premium fuel isn't common, I might just go with the non-Lexus version of the same vehicle, which I think is the Toyota Land Cruiser. It will lack several of the features I've come to rely on, but at least it will be cheaper and easier to access the fuel, not to mention cheaper on maintenance and insurance.
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