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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Greetings to all!

My fiance - a Filipino-American - and I spent 3 weeks vacationing in The Philippines (PI) during the month of March. During this time, her family toured us through several residential areas (i.e., Taguig, Makati, etc.) just outside of Metro Manila.

Since returning to the US, we've begun discussing the possibility of retiring to The Philippines (PI). She and I are in our 50's and expect to retire within 5 to 7 years.

One should never base relocating on the whims of one prolonged vacation. However, after staying at a few houses and condos outside Metro Manila it is fair to conclude that relocating/retiring to PI (at least on the surface) is quite possible . . . assuming we're able to resolve two issues of concern.

Our main concern is healthcare. What would be the cost of high quality health insurance for a couple in their 60's? I've even heard that health insurance for someone over age 60 is unavailable. I've yet to confirm this.

Our second concern is the possibility of finding part time employment at our age. She and I woudl both like to have some form of PT work, more out of desire than need. We cannot conceive getting up and having nothing to do 7 days per week.

Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed and appreciated.

Thank you kindly.
 

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Brother, I'm permanently moving there from Seattle area with my Fil wife in about 20 months with a 1 yr old; so, I've read about every post I can read here, in addition to living there in 90's (Subic), albeit "P.I. Lite", and about 20 trips there over past 7 yrs and lengthy stays. I'd take a weekend, pop a few cold ones and read through All the posts on the site and 'most all your questions will be answered from priors.

In short, from my own prior experience as well as reading on here, some "decent" though not great med care is available. St Lukes in Manila did a great job Saving life of one of our employees working there and it's pay as you go....money up front. If need to use Medicare, you will have to travel to Guam as not accepted/avail to use in P.I. However, I believe my old Blue Cross was usable in PI, but just have not had need since 90's..,.when I paid up front then filed own claims. Also, Thailand has much higher end medical care available if need go somewhere easily flown to for a procedure. If you need a reliable elec supply for any med needs, then most would tell you that Subic Freeport on on Naval Base is best bet absent a reliable generator, as it is least susceptible to brown outs, as well as water being potable from tap. JetLag (moderator here) will tell you he's had some good small Dr. care up around Angeles.

*** And from US EMbassy site: Hospitals and Medical Facilities in the Philippines | Embassy of the United States Manila, Philippines
Hospitals in and around Manila often offer high-quality medical care. However, even the best hospitals may not meet the standards of medical care, sanitation, and comfort provided by hospitals in the United States. Many hospitals outside major urban areas may offer only basic medical care in rudimentary conditions. It is wise to evaluate the standards of medical care at a hospital before contemplating a medical procedure.

Most hospitals will require a downpayment at the time of admission. Local hospitals do not usually accept U.S. health insurance policies, but many U.S. insurers will reimburse patients for hospital charges. Patients are often required to pay their bills before being discharged from the hospital.

Two of the premier private hospitals in Manila are the
Makati Medical Center, Amorsolo Street, Makati,

St. Luke's Hospital, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon City, .

As far as work, you'll find from others you'd need some telecommute work from somewhere else (U.S.) that you can simply do on line, noting that internet is not yet comparable to speeds avail in more developed countries for most part, but there are people on here doing it. If you have a teaching cert, then could apply for a teaching position at a private or International school such as in Manila, Ft Bonofacio area, or Subic (Brent School). Part time work normally done by Filipinos is not going to work for you due to wages And because You pretty much cannot work there as non-citizen. You Could own a biz of some sort via wife/family fi citizens (friend of mine as a pig farm and another a pili nut farm with Filipino family). Other options are to buy some rental properties, like condos, and manage those. I know a some doing that personally w/ condos in Makati and they have great success as well as allowing some family there to Earn some money.

I'm sure others with more current first hand experience and wisdom here will give you plenty of info to mull over. Good luck!
 

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Hey, thank you for replying to my post. Your info and link are good starting points for our healthcare concerns. Maraming salamat! : )

Real estate investing has already been raised by others in her family. Obviously, not being originally from PI, I'm a bit skeptical about RE investing, especially making investments with family. It's one thing to invest with a business partner whom one could tell to "Kiss off" if things don't go well. Not something one could readily say to family. Also, I have some experience in RE financing. I recall how daunting the job often was. It could be rather stressful work, which is something we greatly seek to reduce during retirement; thus the reason why PT work seems appealing.

BTW, saw your profile pics. We did the same excursion through Palawan (the undersground river rules!) and Boracay. We also spent a few days at a resort located at a black sand beach in Batangas.

I wish you and your lovely spouse the best fortune in all your endeavors!

Thank you!
 

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NILE getting insurance is not like getting insurance in the US. There are many companies here BlueCross, PhilAm Manulife, icare etc. You are right I am 61 my wife is 50 and finding coverage is a ITCH. Makati is way too expensive for my taste as many westerners live there hence the cost of living is high. I myself reside in Antipolo outside of Manila but close enough to commute. One thing to consider is travel traffic all around Manila is hectic and slow. If you find a job here it will not pay much but will keep you busy. Unless of course you find employment with an international company. But then if you retire WHY work? Once you hit enough posts and can send private messages shoot me a message. I'll be glad to provide you information you may want or need.
 

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NILE getting insurance is not like getting insurance in the US. There are many companies here BlueCross, PhilAm Manulife, icare etc. You are right I am 61 my wife is 50 and finding coverage is a ITCH. Makati is way too expensive for my taste as many westerners live there hence the cost of living is high. I myself reside in Antipolo outside of Manila but close enough to commute. One thing to consider is travel traffic all around Manila is hectic and slow. If you find a job here it will not pay much but will keep you busy. Unless of course you find employment with an international company. But then if you retire WHY work? Once you hit enough posts and can send private messages shoot me a message. I'll be glad to provide you information you may want or need.
Sir, thank you for sharing your experience and for the invitation to send you a PM. Will most definitely take you up on that as soon as I get that privilege.

You're absolutely right about Manila traffic. My goodness! It makes L.A.'s traffic seem lightning fast.

In so far as "where to live" should we someday relocate, were it for me, I'd live in Palawan. But, my Significant Other wants to be close to her family; all of whom reside in the outskirts of Metro Manila.

Among the many things that caught my attention about life in PI, is that most residences have maids or yayas. They do the chores that take up so much of our daily living (e.g., laundry, cooking, etc.). And most seem rather content in their roles. The maids and yayas I met were treated like family, not servants.
 

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Sir, thank you for sharing your experience and for the invitation to send you a PM. Will most definitely take you up on that as soon as I get that privilege.

You're absolutely right about Manila traffic. My goodness! It makes L.A.'s traffic seem lightning fast.

In so far as "where to live" should we someday relocate, were it for me, I'd live in Palawan. But, my Significant Other wants to be close to her family; all of whom reside in the outskirts of Metro Manila.

Among the many things that caught my attention about life in PI, is that most residences have maids or yayas. They do the chores that take up so much of our daily living (e.g., laundry, cooking, etc.). And most seem rather content in their roles. The maids and yayas I met were treated like family, not servants.
HI Nile, Looks like you live just over the hill from where I lived years ago. Grew up in N. Hollywood and later in Saugus/Canyon Country. Definitely a good place to be out of now.

I think there are older threads in here on hiring maids in the Philippines. Basically ya need to be extremely careful on those hired or you can find yourself missing most everything.

Hope you are able to locate a good area to live when you decide to make the move..
 

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Nile, Jet another California (before it went south) guy here. Borned and raised in Fontana just east of LA. Left there in 71 returned in 2000 WOW. Maybe start a where you from thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Nile, Jet another California (before it went south) guy here. Borned and raised in Fontana just east of LA. Left there in 71 returned in 2000 WOW. Maybe start a where you from thread.
Hello there fellow/former Californians!

Wow! 1971? That was long ago. Heck, even 2000 was a long time ago!

Tell me, was Fontana called "Fontucky" back in 71?

Despite its many flaws, California is a beautiful state in many different ways. Sadly, its increasingly high cost of living is something to weigh as one nears retirement. From what I've read and discussed, California is one of the worse states to retire in, precisely due to the cost of living and taxes. It's a pity because I truly love the state, especially Northern California.

: )
 

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Hello there fellow/former Californians!

Wow! 1971? That was long ago. Heck, even 2000 was a long time ago!

Tell me, was Fontana called "Fontucky" back in 71?

Despite its many flaws, California is a beautiful state in many different ways. Sadly, its increasingly high cost of living is something to weigh as one nears retirement. From what I've read and discussed, California is one of the worse states to retire in, precisely due to the cost of living and taxes. It's a pity because I truly love the state, especially Northern California.

: )
Fontucky? That's one I haven't heard. I was a valley kid and all I knew was cruising Van Nuys Blvd on Wednesday nights!
I liked growing up and going to N. Hollywood High there but left the state at about 25yrs old to live in Utah where there was good fishing and fewer people with a lower cost of living. Was in the LA area back in 2003 during my last trip back to the States and had a blast looking around...
 

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Maids and YaYa's you don't wan them

Sir, thank you for sharing your experience and for the invitation to send you a PM. Will most definitely take you up on that as soon as I get that privilege.

You're absolutely right about Manila traffic. My goodness! It makes L.A.'s traffic seem lightning fast.

In so far as "where to live" should we someday relocate, were it for me, I'd live in Palawan. But, my Significant Other wants to be close to her family; all of whom reside in the outskirts of Metro Manila.

Among the many things that caught my attention about life in PI, is that most residences have maids or yayas. They do the chores that take up so much of our daily living (e.g., laundry, cooking, etc.). And most seem rather content in their roles. The maids and yayas I met were treated like family, not servants.
Seriously you don't want Maids or Yaya's living inside your home... they're not content and your things end up missing, many, many things same if you have poor family members filling in as maids and Yaya's its worse, your child or baby could end missing along with that Yaya or maid, this happens.

Wages are low but you'll also need to feed them, buy them clothes, if you hire in the same municipality, city the family members will be hanging around, picking up coffee, creamer, sugar, rice, oil, soap, detergent ect.. It'll take years catch them doing this or how to figure out why your budget keeps shrinking, basically the poor carry small bags at all times in their pockets and the kids are the messengers or the ones that take these items out of your home or pick it up outside your windows.

This was a decade long battle with Yaya's, maids, family members, so many that I lost count, these people are no longer allowed in hour home, we do it Philippine style now, everybody eats out in the patio including friends and unless they need to use the toilet they remain in the patio area's, friends are another discussion...lol.

Huge, difference between visiting and living on a budget, if you have a large bank account and losing these items won't hurt you much then a staff living inside your house isn't such a bad thing, I would use family members as a Yaya.
 

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Seriously you don't want Maids or Yaya's living inside your home... they're not content and your things end up missing, many, many things same if you have poor family members filling in as maids and Yaya's its worse, your child or baby could end missing along with that Yaya or maid, this happens.

Wages are low but you'll also need to feed them, buy them clothes, if you hire in the same municipality, city the family members will be hanging around, picking up coffee, creamer, sugar, rice, oil, soap, detergent ect.. It'll take years catch them doing this or how to figure out why your budget keeps shrinking, basically the poor carry small bags at all times in their pockets and the kids are the messengers or the ones that take these items out of your home or pick it up outside your windows.

This was a decade long battle with Yaya's, maids, family members, so many that I lost count, these people are no longer allowed in hour home, we do it Philippine style now, everybody eats out in the patio including friends and unless they need to use the toilet they remain in the patio area's, friends are another discussion...lol.

Huge, difference between visiting and living on a budget, if you have a large bank account and losing these items won't hurt you much then a staff living inside your house isn't such a bad thing, I would use family members as a Yaya.
I have only been here a year and a 1/2 but have not encountered this problem. What is a problem is that they work hard the first month or 2 then they slack off. Now maybe the reason we have not encountered this problem is we live in a gated community the guard call us every time they leave, my wife inspects their bags every time they leave. We also have a CCTV.
 
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Seriously you don't want Maids or Yaya's living inside your home... they're not content and your things end up missing, many, many things same if you have poor family members filling in as maids and Yaya's its worse, your child or baby could end missing along with that Yaya or maid, this happens.

Wages are low but you'll also need to feed them, buy them clothes, if you hire in the same municipality, city the family members will be hanging around, picking up coffee, creamer, sugar, rice, oil, soap, detergent ect.. It'll take years catch them doing this or how to figure out why your budget keeps shrinking, basically the poor carry small bags at all times in their pockets and the kids are the messengers or the ones that take these items out of your home or pick it up outside your windows.

This was a decade long battle with Yaya's, maids, family members, so many that I lost count, these people are no longer allowed in hour home, we do it Philippine style now, everybody eats out in the patio including friends and unless they need to use the toilet they remain in the patio area's, friends are another discussion...lol.

Huge, difference between visiting and living on a budget, if you have a large bank account and losing these items won't hurt you much then a staff living inside your house isn't such a bad thing, I would use family members as a Yaya.
This is the absolute truth and is more common than not. There are those that have good luck with hired house help but most end up regretting the experience. Everything from silverware and cell phones grows legs and walks out of the door.
As Mcalleyboy said, even children can end up being kidnapped for ransom. Ya need to remember that your maid might be pretty honest; but most all of her family is gonna be dirt poor. Family members will have a strong influence on your maid and could end up being the cause for much heartache and or loss of personal items. For these reasons alone my wife would never allow hired help in the house---let alone live here.
 
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This is the absolute truth and is more common than not. There are those that have good luck with hired house help but most end up regretting the experience. Everything from silverware and cell phones grows legs and walks out of the door.
As Mcalleyboy said, even children can end up being kidnapped for ransom. Ya need to remember that your maid might be pretty honest; but most all of her family is gonna be dirt poor. Family members will have a strong influence on your maid and could end up being the cause for much heartache and or loss of personal items. For these reasons alone my wife would never allow hired help in the house---let alone live here.
I am in no position to dispute the experiences of the previous posts. Yet fortunately, from what little I witnessed, this was not the case in both of my sister-in-laws' homes.

Their maids and yayas have worked for them for 15+ years. This would indicate a certain level of trust. They came across as loyal caretakers who would do anything for those they humbly serve and work for.
 

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I am in no position to dispute the experiences of the previous posts. Yet fortunately, from what little I witnessed, this was not the case in both of my sister-in-laws' homes.

Their maids and yayas have worked for them for 15+ years. This would indicate a certain level of trust. They came across as loyal caretakers who would do anything for those they humbly serve and work for.
Has not been the case in my home either. Both or housekeeper and my son's nanny have been very loyal employees. The same goes for the elderly lady we employ to do laundry three times a week. I quite often forget and leave cash in my pants pocket which she never fails to return to me.
I have, however heard of stories of theft (or worse) by household staff and/or their friends let into the home without permission.
This isn't simply a Philippine issue.
If you're going to employ household help check references and insist on an NBI clearance. Listen to your instincts when interviewing and remember that even thoroughly backgrounded and bonded person whom you've known for years can turn out to be dishonest!
 

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Here are a few more questions that have crossed my mind; and this goes specifically to you expats currently living in PI:

- What percentage of your US earned pensions or 401K's is taxed by the US gov't?

- Are you eligible to collect Social Security?
 

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Here are a few more questions that have crossed my mind; and this goes specifically to you expats currently living in PI:

- What percentage of your US earned pensions or 401K's is taxed by the US gov't?

- Are you eligible to collect Social Security?
May be talking out of turn here, as I am only preparing for a move myself, but nonetheless, my research indicates you file US taxes exactly the same as if a resident in the US, thus same amount paid, does not change.

As for your Social Security, you are entitled to collect Social Security benefits regardless of where you live provided you are of eligible age to collect. However, Medicare will not pay benefits for care outside the US or a US territory. It can be used in Guam, for instance which is a US territory. I pay Federal income tax on my pension, but the state here where I reside does not tax it. Good luck and hope this is some help.
 

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Re: Further Questions

May be talking out of turn here, as I am only preparing for a move myself, but nonetheless, my research indicates you file US taxes exactly the same as if a resident in the US, thus same amount paid, does not change.

As for your Social Security, you are entitled to collect Social Security benefits regardless of where your live provided you are of eligible age to collect. However, Medicare will not pay benefits for care outside the US or a US territory. It can be used in Guam, for instance which is a US territory. I pay Federal income tax on my pension, but the state here where I reside does not tax it. Good luck and hope this is some help.
Here are a few more questions that have crossed my mind; and this goes specifically to you expats currently living in PI:

- What percentage of your US earned pensions or 401K's is taxed by the US gov't?

- Are you eligible to collect Social Security?
Right on the ball Token-Kano, I'm not sure on the filing of taxes though as I do not file with my income level. There are professional tax services and I think one even posted an advertisement here in the classified section at the top of the page.

The Social Security is payable in most countries and the Philippines is on that list. There is however a very short list of approved banks where the US will send your funds to. Just need to open a US dollar Social Security act at one of them and apply for Social with the US embassy.
If you have your Social sent here though, you or your spouse will not have access to each others account. This is a US law and applies to everyone. So you need to open a joint Peso savings or ATM act here as well and each month deposit your Social into it.

Token Kano is right in that Medicare is not usable here. As such, you can opt out of paying into it and it will save you a bundle over time.
There are other threads here on the page regarding Social Security and you can also visit the Social Security office
at the US Embassy site for further informaion.
It's better to not accept as gospel any information you get from Social Security there in the States. They will not lie to you but they don't do international filings and payments every day--the US embassy does and has completely accurate information.



Jet Lag
 

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From what I have seen from my inlaws, you can find good help here in the Philippines. My mother in law always hires people from Iloilo because that is where she is from and her workers are extremely good. Unfortunately for her (and them really) she is a real hard <Snip> and works them to the bone so they only last about 6 mo for her. She doesn't give them any time off and they work 24-7. I remember visiting 6 years ago and they had 1 maid who staid up until the last person went to be (usually mother in law at around 2 am) and then got up before the first person was up (usually father in law at 6). The poor girl was absolutely exhausted. Then when she quit, she told them all she was tired, and they were shocked! I was like, really? She is a person not a machine. Anyway, you can find good helpers, you just need to stay on top of them. Like previous post said, check their bags when they leave, have the guards call you (especially if they are leaving with your child), etc.. From what I have heard it is not the helpers themselves that might be the problem.. it is who they may be letting into your home when you are gone. I have heard this is how a lot of home invasions happen here. Someone seeks out your helper and becomes their boyfriend.. then they get in your home, steal all your stuff, then ditch the helper. I figure you just have to have strict boundaries, treat them right, pay them decently.. and they will be loyal to you. As far as family goes, every time my mother in law would do grocery shopping, her brother would then go to her house and do his grocery shopping. That is the way of it here, but it is her fault because she didn't once say anything to him. She allowed it so it was something he did. Even when he was caught red handed. Hence a need for strong boundaries. Like anywhere, people here will try to get away with whatever they can. The more you let them do the more they attempt. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
May be talking out of turn here, as I am only preparing for a move myself, but nonetheless, my research indicates you file US taxes exactly the same as if a resident in the US, thus same amount paid, does not change.

As for your Social Security, you are entitled to collect Social Security benefits regardless of where you live provided you are of eligible age to collect. However, Medicare will not pay benefits for care outside the US or a US territory. It can be used in Guam, for instance which is a US territory. I pay Federal income tax on my pension, but the state here where I reside does not tax it. Good luck and hope this is some help.
OK. So, based on the bold underlined statement above, I would assume you do not reside in the Philippines, correct? The mentions of "state taxation" threw me off for a bit.

Regardless, your input is appreciated.
 

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OK. So, based on the bold underlined statement above, I would assume you do not reside in the Philippines, correct? The mentions of "state taxation" threw me off for a bit.

Regardless, your input is appreciated.
No, not yet a resident of the RP, as I first mentioned I am only at the point of preparing to move there, possibly next spring. I am in process of researching and preparing for the move. Your tax liability I would assume would depend on the amount/type of pension. The rates are the same as for a resident of the US. My knowledge is limited, but I like the forum and needed the practice posting. :)
 
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