Disabled vet expat-to-be: Wants expat friendly beachfront but no children?

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Posted

Apologies in advance for the novel, I've been reading a lot but seem to have difficulty finding my exact situation.  Current US citizen, I'm a recently divorced 41 year old who's contract runs at the end of 2018.  I am looking for my ideal location, I will rent first but am ultimately looking for a location where I can buy/"lease" the land and have that property appreciate.

For my finances:  I am an 80% disabled vet so have a monthly income $1587 without dependents.  I project that when my job ends on Dec 2018 I'll have $15K in the bank and $100K in my 401K so at worst there is a 10% penalty for taking withdrawals however there are ways to avoid the 10% tax that I'm looking into and I wouldn't take the full amount out anyways.  While I do plan on finding a compatible Filipina wife who doesn't need to already live in this location, let's just say I've been medically confirmed that "my boys cannot swim" which was the largest factor in my divorce so there wouldn't be any children as I do not want to adopt.  I also understand my future Filipina wife want to send some money back to her family.  Because I'm a vet I can use the VA Clinic for my service connected issues yet I do plan on taking an annual trip back to the US so can also utilize my routine medical checkups and any non-service connected medical issues.  I'm sharing this to give everyone a clear view of my financial/budget situation and note that I could start taking social security at 62.

For my location preference:  I'm social so would like an Expat friendly home location that's within walking distance to both the beach and a restaurant/bar/shopping area.  I'm looking to buy (or lease the land for "50/+25" years) a condo/house and was hoping for beach front or at least an oceanview if a condo.  I don't mind withdrawing half from my 401K to pay for a nice place as long as its projecting to appreciate.  I have a very basic understanding of the main rules for foreigners owning land yet see there are all sorts of exceptions that I'm trying to learn about.  Another important factor with the budget, I'm probably going to want the A/C running near fulltime and have seen some report that doing so in some locations will be a super expensive electric bill which I would need to take into consideration and a wildcard to that could be getting solar panels if it makes financial sense.

In summary, with 401k withdrawal could have $105K in the bank 401K, $1587/mo now and roughly $1720/mo when married, won't have children, would like an annual trip back to the states (for me and the future wife).  Would like the location to be expat friendly, within walking distance to both the beach and a shopping/restaurant area and also plan on running the A/C nearly full time.  I am planning on a 7 night trip this July-Aug to scout some locations, then once the job ends to come out for 3 weeks with the plan on renting a place as I continue to search for a home to buy.

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Posted

Would Puerto Galera fit my needs?

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Posted

You will need to come for more than 3 weeks that amount of time will get a nice break but will not really show you anything about the place.3 months would be more like it then you can get the feel for the place and see how the area treats you.Places change here and what you like to begin with may not suit you after a few months, choose wisely.

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Posted

A lot of guys start in Cebu and start looking from there.  I know guys that have been here 5 years and still moving around looking for the right place... 

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Posted

You are not going to like what I have to say....

Don't spend any of your 401K. Don't do it.

Work a few more years save save save including money in that 401K.  

Have a large nest egg for if things go badly wrong or an exit plan. Have a some money in savings to spend for extra stuff your monthly income will not cover. 

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4 hours ago, AwesomeLife said:

 and note that I could start taking social security at 62.

Social Security Administration has a website wherein you can calculate how much you can expect to receive (starting age 62) based on your total contributions up to the present and when you plan to start receiving (up to age 70). You can also write to SSA and they will do the calculation for your. Actually, starting at age 60, the SSA sends out an annual notice stating your annual contributions and how much you can expect to receive annually.

You also need to calculate the effect of inflation on you disability income.  Inflation in the Philippines is twice that of the United States. My suggestion is to keep most of your money in United States Dollars, exchanging to local currency has needed.

One question - Does your 80% disability affect your mobility? (i.e., Do you need help to move around?)

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56 minutes ago, Old55 said:

Don't spend any of your 401K. Don't do it.

That sounds a lot like my friend Scott, (may he R.I.P. with his 401K still intact).  To be blunt, you can't take it with you so make a plan when you will spend it and try to get the maximum enjoyment out of it.

Am I a bad one to give advice?

My financial adviser gave me advice that ran contrary to the norm when I retired at age 52.  He told me I would need more money when young and less money as I aged, (got ED), had the house and car and furniture all paid for, and had less need to get out "doing things" every weekend.  So he set me up to spend more money when younger and have declining income as I age.  It hurts taking a pay cut every year but I have to admit he was right.  I enjoyed my money when I was younger and I still have enough to live comfortable.  The money only spends once but if you plan poorly it doesn't get spent at all.

What happens when I run out.  Got it covered.  I'm from a country with a great social safety net so there is always the opportunity to go back and live on the government tit.

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3 minutes ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

What happens when I run out.  Got it covered.  I'm from a country with a great social safety net so there is always the opportunity to go back and live on the government tit.

:smile: Great to hear but would ask why we hear so much about  Expats ending up Destitute? I Guess we all think our own Countries have a Great safety net but do they Really? or are you a lucky one with a key to the back door ; Scratching Head.jpg Not meant to be argumentative but...........:thumbsup:

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Posted
7 minutes ago, Jack Peterson said:

would ask why we hear so much about  Expats ending up Destitute?

I guess not all countries have a great safety net?  Its a good point though.  Perhaps they left it too late?  I mean it takes time to get back to the home country and get yourself set up again.  So a person has to do it while they still have a little cash.

Its good to see both sides of the coin though.  A:  You die with a bunch of money that you never got around to spending or B:  You live but run out of money.   We live in interesting times.

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Posted

Thanks everyone.  I understand my post was long winded so I'll attempt to summarize.  Let me start with a disclaimer, the plan isn't to liquidate my wealth to buy a lavish home.  The plan will start with a week long trip this summer, if I like what I see I will book a several weeks long trip after my job ends, if I still like what I see, sell my belongings to move there and rent for a while.  Then if I found the right opportunity to "buy" a home that a home would appreciate I'd consider withdrawing up to half of my 401K (which would already be rolled over to an IRA) to buy a home with careful consideration.  That time may never come and I may rent for a year, head back to the US or just decide to continue renting year to year.  If I did buy, I would no longer have a rent payment yet taxes/utilities/insurance/maintenance would remain.  I do not have any mobility issues.

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