Relocate to PH - questions here

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Relocate to PH - questions here


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Old 4th November 2013, 10:41 AM
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Question Relocate to PH - questions here

Hello,

An american here. I met my filipino wife in the US while she was there on a work visa. She left the PH 16 years ago with an international company and has lived around the globe (and hasnt been back to PH since). We are now thinking of making our home overseas. She will have both her US and PH passports.
We are looking at Thailand and the Philippines. Thailand, while difficult to retire to, until age 50...the PH would be quite easy for us due to her having citizenship in PH.
If we do PH we would be near her family and have much less obstacles to buy land/house, etc.
I dont want to retire (i am only 44). I would like to open a business; maybe import stuff for a US type store - food, clothing, etc from the US. (Our friend owns an international freight forwarding company - let me know if you need stuff shipped door to door - our friend is great and she is PH). I am very interested in starting an expat relocation service. Maybe open a bar, a bowling alley, rent out jet skis, do something. Her family is from Zamboanga City and I am white so we wont be living there you understand.


But i have questions that i hope someone can answer.

1. Should i get my PH passport / citizenship? Benefits? Drawbacks? I do not want to give up my US citizenship or passport. Will this help with doing business etc?

2. How do US taxes work for an expat? I am bringing a nest egg of money; how does the US tax system effect me there? I assume I will need to pay xx percent on newly generated money only and not on my egg nest that was already taxed? (I have no investments, retirement money, etc. i have an nest egg of xxxxxx us dollars.)

3. Obamacare...will it effect us as expats?

4. You are there. Are you happy? Did you make the right decision? Why do you say that?

5. What do you wish you would have brought with you but did not? What do you miss?

6. Do you think a well stocked store full of american (Joe) products would work? Would you travel a little to get american clothes? A philly cheesesteak? Some Wisconsin cheese? A real maytag washing machine? A pair of size 13 Nikes? A place where you can request what is stocked. Enough expat demand?

7. Would opening an American (a Joe themed) bar be successful? Walk in and there are pics of NYC, Boston, a broncos shirt on the wall, etc. Bars always seem risky.

8. My wife loves the idea of a bowling alley that would also have video games, karaoke, and other things fond to the PH people. Bad idea?

9. Is there a large enough demand for door to door shipping worldwide for expats?

10. I assume i could get directTv and get the baseball package? Lol sorry have to ask

11. What do you think will help me be successful in all this? PHP will not be an issue for us.

12. Where is there a high concentration of expats living in PH?

13. With the electricity issues (brown outs n power losses) is it worth having a generator system and a water filtration system put on the house? Or if we buy a high rise condo do they suffer from power n water issues too?

Well i think that is it for questions.

Thailand seems like too much work for me considering i am already married to a PH.

Thoughts? Ideas?

Thanks and hope for some thoughts here.


Last edited by xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxtimpowers_colo; 4th November 2013 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 4th November 2013, 01:08 PM
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Here are some quick answers to chew on...

But i have questions that i hope someone can answer.

1. Should i get my PH passport / citizenship? Benefits? Drawbacks? I do not want to give up my US citizenship or passport. Will this help with doing business etc?

I do not think that you can get a PH Passport unless you revoke your US citizenship. You can get a 13A spousal visa upon arrival with your wife which is renewable annually. Business is always a challenge (good workers, honest workers, competition, etc. etc.). You will also have to upgrade to a 13G (allows you to work) visa

2. How do US taxes work for an expat? I am bringing a nest egg of money; how does the US tax system effect me there? I assume I will need to pay xx percent on newly generated money only and not on my egg nest that was already taxed? (I have no investments, retirement money, etc. i have an nest egg of xxxxxx us dollars.)

As a US Citizen you are taxed worldwide on your income. So any local income generated will be taxed at your proper tax rate. All income earned abroad is eligible for the Foreign Earned Income Credit ($97,000 deductible for 2012) as long as you outside of the US for 330+ days/year. If you pay Phil Income tax, it should be deductible from your US Tax Liability (you would have to check with a CPA).


3. Obamacare...will it effect us as expats?

Expats are not eligible for Obamacare as it is domestic health insurance only.

4. You are there. Are you happy? Yes Did you make the right decision? Yes Why do you say that? Less stress, lower costs and am always happy now.

5. What do you wish you would have brought with you but did not? very little What do you miss? Good bratwurst

6. Do you think a well stocked store full of american (Joe) products would work? Only in an area with a larger expat community (Cebu, Dumaguete, Angeles, Subic, Davao, Manila) Would you travel a little to get american clothes? I order mine online and ship via a cargo forwarder. A philly cheesesteak? Would be a nice change of pace. Some Wisconsin cheese? Most decent cheese here is from NZ A real maytag washing machine? I have one (locally purchased). Most durable goods cost 25-50% more than the US (Tariffs) A pair of size 13 Nikes? Again, order online A place where you can request what is stocked. Enough expat demand? Might be plausible but I am sure that the items would be costly and most expats are on tight fixed budgets.

7. Would opening an American (a Joe themed) bar be successful? Walk in and there are pics of NYC, Boston, a broncos shirt on the wall, etc. Bars always seem risky. I like the idea of a good sports bar, not sure of the viability.

8. My wife loves the idea of a bowling alley that would also have video games, karaoke, and other things fond to the PH people. Bad idea? Not too many bowling alley's over here. What few that do also have pool tables.

9. Is there a large enough demand for door to door shipping worldwide for expats? I think that there could be. The key is reliability. The one that I presently use, gets it to my door in 6-7 weeks (via Sea).

10. I assume i could get directTv and get the baseball package? Lol sorry have to ask I do not think so. I think that the Satellite does not have coverage over here.

11. What do you think will help me be successful in all this? PHP will not be an issue for us. Not sure what to say on this one.

12. Where is there a high concentration of expats living in PH? Cebu, Dumaguete, Angeles, Subic, Davao, Manila

13. With the electricity issues (brown outs n power losses) is it worth having a generator system and a water filtration system put on the house? Yes if you are in the provinces Or if we buy a high rise condo do they suffer from power n water issues too? Depends on the locale. Not so much in Manila or Cebu

Well i think that is it for questions.

Thailand seems like too much work for me considering i am already married to a PH. It will be a lot of work wherever you go, but you will find your filipina looked down upon in Thailand

It's all about finding the right niche that nobody has filled and hard to copy. It depends on each area that you will have to evaluate for yourself.

Check out the many posts in this forum. Lots of good stuff to be read.

Good Luck!!

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Old 4th November 2013, 04:11 PM
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I've often heard it said that the easiest way to make a million in the Philippines is to start with two million.

There is unlikely to be any high enough concentrations of expats to make a living of the back of and also be minded that not all expats are American by a long way, so if you are going to cater for expats from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Denmark...........and the locals on the whole won't be able to afford your imported goods. Is your friend shipping by BB Box, if so that will work for a while but there is talk of tightening up on that as it's not supposed to be used for business purposes. Normal freight is very expensive and the import duties will be prohibitive.

Oh and for getting PH citizenship. Apart from having to be fluent in a local language it takes about 10 years to obtain.

I don't want to put too much of a downer on your ideas as businesses can work, but there's a good reason why 90% of expats come to the Philippines only to retire.

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Old 8th November 2013, 10:37 AM
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The wife and I have decided on the Philippines.

This is our best course as she is PI.

So now we are working on our US exit plan. I am selling our assets between now and April. I fly down in February to look around. We are looking at Subic & Cebu. I like Subic a little better so far due to the port.

Sometime by August we will do the move to PI. We will rent for a year and get a feel for things. Looks like they have some nice condos with views over the bay readily available.

We have some questions on our exit plan that we are hoping to get some help with. Here goes:

1. We are getting rid of everything we have in the US. We will take 2 weeks of clothes and just replace everything upon arrival. Is there anything, her or I, should bring in clothes that we should bring over buying local? We are packing shorts & light shirts, sandals, and sneakers. Getting rid of all my Colorado winter coats unless any of you guys needs a good winter snow coat. Lol

2. When you guys left did you get there and say, "damn, i wish i would have brought..."

3. We plan to each take 1 laptop and 1 ipad each. Just fine?

4. Is there anything we should stock up on and bring?

5. How should we do our banking? We are thinking keep our US accounts and maybe open a local account when we arrive. How did you guys deal with it? Is there a BOA? A chase? Or other american bank there?

6. Is it important to keep a US address? We will probably sell our house. What did you do?

7. I will get my immigration stuff done in the states prior to heading that way.

8. Any advice? Anything we might be missing? Anything else we should consider?

I hope everyone is safe and doing good through the storm!

Thanks in advance!!!


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Old 8th November 2013, 11:02 AM
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Just a couple -a -things come to mind and then I'll let the other members jump in with more ideas.

I'd suggest taking at least one advance trip over more than what you have indicated just to get a better look before the leap.

I think you are right on with the idea of Subic Bay area. Jon 1hit a lot of the high points and living there would be most enjoyable.

Clothing Etc: For your wife there is probably no problem in buying local. But for us guys there is often trouble finding larger (foreigner) sizes in many places and stores. That especially includes shoes. So bringing along as many good pairs of shoes and sandals is important.

Nothing I can think of I miss from the States really or wish I would have brought along.




Regards

Jet..
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Old 8th November 2013, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timpowers_colo View Post
The wife and I have decided on the Philippines.

This is our best course as she is PI.

So now we are working on our US exit plan. I am selling our assets between now and April. I fly down in February to look around. We are looking at Subic & Cebu. I like Subic a little better so far due to the port.

Sometime by August we will do the move to PI. We will rent for a year and get a feel for things. Looks like they have some nice condos with views over the bay readily available.

We have some questions on our exit plan that we are hoping to get some help with. Here goes:

1. We are getting rid of everything we have in the US. We will take 2 weeks of clothes and just replace everything upon arrival. Is there anything, her or I, should bring in clothes that we should bring over buying local? We are packing shorts & light shirts, sandals, and sneakers. Getting rid of all my Colorado winter coats unless any of you guys needs a good winter snow coat. Lol

2. When you guys left did you get there and say, "damn, i wish i would have brought..."

3. We plan to each take 1 laptop and 1 ipad each. Just fine?

4. Is there anything we should stock up on and bring?

5. How should we do our banking? We are thinking keep our US accounts and maybe open a local account when we arrive. How did you guys deal with it? Is there a BOA? A chase? Or other american bank there?

6. Is it important to keep a US address? We will probably sell our house. What did you do?

7. I will get my immigration stuff done in the states prior to heading that way.

8. Any advice? Anything we might be missing? Anything else we should consider?

I hope everyone is safe and doing good through the storm!

Thanks in advance!!!
2 - I feel that I brought too much that I could simply have replaced here for less than I paid shipping things but then I have alays been a pack rat unwilling to easily part with things.
5 & 6 - I maintain my US Account at JP Morgan Chase. I can access it online via internet and mobile app plus via ATM and/or personal check deposited to local account. I do maintsin a US mailing address at maillinkplus in vegas with mail forwarding capabilities!
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Old 8th November 2013, 11:58 AM
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Great plan in getting your immigration papers in order before arriving here.

The high dollar kitchen items are very hard to find, not sure where a person would find a high quality espresso machine, I tried to order one online and for some reason those items couldn't be shipped to the Philippines due to restrictions...lol

Business... take your time on this, expat communities might not be large enough and many do retire here to save money.

One area that is lacking is "corn flour"... it's not found here, I've been told that I can find it here or there but? The major grocery chains do not sell corn flour, store workers will say they do..... and then they end up showing me the corn starch every single time, my neighbors have no idea what corn flour is, never heard of it, some are college educated, it's just not sold here.

I would dread dealing with the customs branch on any business decision and a good thing your selling off your stuff before arriving in the Philippines, I wouldn't want to deal with customs in any way.

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Old 8th November 2013, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timpowers_colo View Post

1. We are getting rid of everything we have in the US. We will take 2 weeks of clothes and just replace everything upon arrival. Is there anything, her or I, should bring in clothes that we should bring over buying local? Like Jet said, westerner size clothing is hard to find, bring what you needWe are packing shorts & light shirts, sandals, and sneakers. I would bring some pants/jeans also. You need them when you go to Immigration or the Embassy.

2. When you guys left did you get there and say, "damn, i wish i would have brought..."

Nothing for me.. Remember to bring any medications that you require. They may not be available over here. Everything else that is over the counter can be had.

3. We plan to each take 1 laptop and 1 ipad each. Just fine? I think that should work just fine. Bring your software with you too. Make sure any electronic devices you bring are 110-240V. Bring a good power strip (rated for up to 240V) that is fuse protected and provides surge protection. Invest in some good VPN software to protect your online transactions.

4. Is there anything we should stock up on and bring? Depends on what you can't live without. Make sure you bring your checkbook for banking. Get a VOIP phone number (Magic Jack/Skype) and associate it with your bank/credit card accounts.

5. How should we do our banking? We are thinking keep our US accounts and maybe open a local account when we arrive. How did you guys deal with it? Is there a BOA? A chase? Or other american bank there? Keep your US Bank accounts (PI banks only insure to 500,000p (approx $12000)). Open a local US $ account. Transfer money via writing yourself a check (no charge, takes 28 days to clear locally). I have seen Citibank over here (in Manila). You also need to notify your banks (online banking accounts and credit card accounts) that you will be over here for an extended time. Otherwise your transactions will be denied and it's a major PITA to get rectified.

6. Is it important to keep a US address? We will probably sell our house. What did you do?
It is for your US Bank accounts. I have a US address in Florida via a friend. I also have a FPO address (via the local RAO in Baloy) for billing address and letter mail. Go paperless/electronic on all bills and financial accounts.

here is my .02 ...

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