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Discussion Starter #21
Today is Tuesday, May 13th. Because I was off from work, I decided to catch up on a few items on the "Honey-Do" list. A good portion of the morning was spent re-plumbing hot/cold water supply lines to a sink. The task required two trips to Home Depot. As the day progressed I asked myself, "How are common home repairs dealt with in PI?"

So, for you expats currently residing in PI, what do you do when plumbing or electrical maintenance is required in your home? Do you call a trusted service provider? Or, do you tackle the job yourself? If so, where to you get your supplies from?
 

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Info needed on best way to send money to Phils

I am a Californian expat in Thailand and need to send money to my wife-to-be. She lives right outside Manila.
Here in Thailand they send money through the post office but only within the country. There is a Cebuanas Lhuilier near my fiancee's house. Any suggestions other than a wire transfer from bank to bank? Wire transfers here in Thailand are very, very expensive. The amount I need to send her is about 100 US.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Ricky (AKA pisico) :)
 

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Today is Tuesday, May 13th. Because I was off from work, I decided to catch up on a few items on the "Honey-Do" list. A good portion of the morning was spent re-plumbing hot/cold water supply lines to a sink. The task required two trips to Home Depot. As the day progressed I asked myself, "How are common home repairs dealt with in PI?"

So, for you expats currently residing in PI, what do you do when plumbing or electrical maintenance is required in your home? Do you call a trusted service provider? Or, do you tackle the job yourself? If so, where to you get your supplies from?
If it is something that I can or desire to handle, I get my stuff at the local hardware store.

If it is more than I can handle or just don't want to be bothered with it, I get ahold of my odd jobber Pinoy friend to take care of it. I just had him clean my 3 window AC units today for 500p each. I know it was generous but he helps me out in a pinch.

If it requires a specialized fix (plumber or electrician) I have several contacts that have given me good referrals. I am having a plumber come over next week to tackle some bathroom renovations. I buy the parts needed and he provides the labor/tools. His daily rate is 600p.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
If it is something that I can or desire to handle, I get my stuff at the local hardware store.

If it is more than I can handle or just don't want to be bothered with it, I get ahold of my odd jobber Pinoy friend to take care of it. I just had him clean my 3 window AC units today for 500p each. I know it was generous but he helps me out in a pinch.

If it requires a specialized fix (plumber or electrician) I have several contacts that have given me good referrals. I am having a plumber come over next week to tackle some bathroom renovations. I buy the parts needed and he provides the labor/tools. His daily rate is 600p.
Thanks for your input and experience.

Man, at 600p/day that's a little over $13USD! What a steal!
 

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Thanks for your input and experience.

Man, at 600p/day that's a little over $13USD! What a steal!
It is a steal alright but ya need to be careful that these workers aren't doing the stealing also. Often times many things go missing at the end of their work day so ya need to keep your eyes open.

Also, the daily labor in most any place here will be in addition to lunch and sometimes even snacks for your workers. It's not much really but they do expect it and many will not work without it..
 

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It is a steal alright but ya need to be careful that these workers aren't doing the stealing also. Often times many things go missing at the end of their work day so ya need to keep your eyes open.

Also, the daily labor in most any place here will be in addition to lunch and sometimes even snacks for your workers. It's not much really but they do expect it and many will not work without it..
You also have to follow them along to make sure that they are tackling what you want in the closest fashion to what you want. Everything gets lost in the translation and at 600p/day, you are not going to get the quality of work equivalent to what you would back home. I try to remind myself about the lower pay usually equals an 80% of my US standards. So... I set my sights on what I can get them to do and what I can finish to bring the end result up if at all possible.
 

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It is a steal alright but ya need to be careful that these workers aren't doing the stealing also. Often times many things go missing at the end of their work day so ya need to keep your eyes open.

Also, the daily labor in most any place here will be in addition to lunch and sometimes even snacks for your workers. It's not much really but they do expect it and many will not work without it..
Taking care of 'em every way you can is surely the way to go. On the three moves I did in 90's in and out of PI, and from San Miguel to Subic, we always provided big time lunch and refreshments to the movers, as well as Tipping them at end of day and giving away the food in fridge or the liquor in the cabinet...ended up being the absolute Best moves I've every had and Nothing got damaged or stolen. People want to be Appreciated as humans and as workers, regardless of culture or where you are from...so that relatively cheap payment and such goes a Long way. Heck, we do the same thing here w/ movers and they have take pretty good care of me on these US coast to coast moves as well.
 

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Need help moving again

Taking care of 'em every way you can is surely the way to go. On the three moves I did in 90's in and out of PI, and from San Miguel to Subic, we always provided big time lunch and refreshments to the movers, as well as Tipping them at end of day and giving away the food in fridge or the liquor in the cabinet...ended up being the absolute Best moves I've every had and Nothing got damaged or stolen. People want to be Appreciated as humans and as workers, regardless of culture or where you are from...so that relatively cheap payment and such goes a Long way. Heck, we do the same thing here w/ movers and they have take pretty good care of me on these US coast to coast moves as well.
You could get this expat to work for you with that kind of deal.

The workers here are very careful normally with furniture or appliance items and I too have given away items I no longer need the benefits to finding one worker that comes around and checks up on you is with out a doubt even more valuable.

All around fix it man usually a family member, wife's distant cousin can fix minor things once a month or depending upon the job more often and the cost could be much lower, he fixes the bikes, electrical outlets, carpentry all minor repairs and most of the time the job is only a 1 hr job so we'll give him a kilo of rice or if longer than an hour a little more, take home food, it won't be costly it helps us and it helps someone that isn't working full time.

Gene has it right watch your tools and things, they tend to end up under papers or stuck in an off the wall area's, where they pick it up on the way out, always account for your tools before the job and after, store your tools in a locked room, many lesson's learned in this area it could start another thread.
 

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A little off topic here, but during my first few months in the US, and we had a crew of workers working on our roof, I was surprised to learn from my husband that I didnt have to make them lunch. I asked if I should at least offer them a drink or a sandwich, but my husband said nope, workers here bring their own lunch. Imagine that lol.
 

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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.
Well, to make a long story short, my wife and I decided to retire here to the Philippines about 25 years ago. At that time it seemed like a wonderful idea, and at that time the area we selected was still somewhat rural, without too many people. Well, we stuck to our plans, and finally built our house last year.

Of course, after settling down, we encountered quite a few circumstances we didn't anticipate before hand, and one of the biggest things that slipped by us was how much the area slowly changed from the first time we visited it, until what it is today. Also, the cost of living isn't really that much lower, and the traffic here is much worse than what I ever dealt with in California. (Just be aware that not everything will be a tropical paradise.)

I'd say that one of the biggest factors in determining how happy you're going to be over here, is how well you get along with her family, and what type of people they are. Of course, if you live far away from them, then it probably won't be too much of an issue, however, if they live near by, then you really want to make sure you've got a good picture of these people before you settle along side them.

I think that it's virtually impossible for a American to find work in the Philippines, and during my many travels here, I've only met one American who was legally employed by a company here (he was a maintenance mechanic working for a large hospital).

Personally, I'm starting to make some tentative steps to return home, and maybe visit here a few months each year. I'm thinking about Kingman, Winatchee, and Lake Havasu, but still keeping things open. (unfortunately got rid of my house.)
 

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Well, to make a long story short, my wife and I decided to retire here to the Philippines about 25 years ago. At that time it seemed like a wonderful idea, and at that time the area we selected was still somewhat rural, without too many people. Well, we stuck to our plans, and finally built our house last year.

Of course, after settling down, we encountered quite a few circumstances we didn't anticipate before hand, and one of the biggest things that slipped by us was how much the area slowly changed from the first time we visited it, until what it is today. Also, the cost of living isn't really that much lower, and the traffic here is much worse than what I ever dealt with in California. (Just be aware that not everything will be a tropical paradise.)

I'd say that one of the biggest factors in determining how happy you're going to be over here, is how well you get along with her family, and what type of people they are. Of course, if you live far away from them, then it probably won't be too much of an issue, however, if they live near by, then you really want to make sure you've got a good picture of these people before you settle along side them.

I think that it's virtually impossible for a American to find work in the Philippines, and during my many travels here, I've only met one American who was legally employed by a company here (he was a maintenance mechanic working for a large hospital).

Personally, I'm starting to make some tentative steps to return home, and maybe visit here a few months each year. I'm thinking about Kingman, Winatchee, and Lake Havasu, but still keeping things open. (unfortunately got rid of my house.)
Great post and agree with all you said. Good insight, information, and advice for sure. Only one difference. For me, I would not return to live (even part time) in the States - even if I had the wealth of Howard Hughes. Gets frustrating at times but beats the heck outa driving the 405 freeway or even I-5. Nope, I'll take the strange happenings and people here any day..
 

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Jet Lag: you are spot on. Even when one is not commuting to and from work many hours of the days are spent inside of a car, burning money and wasting precious time. We only live once.
Yes, it would be nice to have low noise on the streets of Philippines and taxi drivers that do not blow their horns at the sight of lighter skin. It would be great to be able to go to Ruby's at the end of a long pier and have a strawberry shake while gazing on Catalina island but... The price to pay is much to high in terms of stress and wasted time.
The good thing about Philippines is that there are many, many near pristine places where to live in relative comfort and pleasant environment. Filipinos may not be all we want them to be but for the most parts they are OK. My bad experiences are limited to dealing with cabbies and corrupt law enforcement.
I retired in Bangkok Thailand and as I type I am putting all my ducks in a row to move to Phils, hopefully before the year ends.
I wish good health and good fortune to all USA expats and from other countries too.
Salamat po for reading this comment.
Pisico (AKA Ricky)
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Well, to make a long story short, my wife and I decided to retire here to the Philippines about 25 years ago. At that time it seemed like a wonderful idea, and at that time the area we selected was still somewhat rural, without too many people. Well, we stuck to our plans, and finally built our house last year.

Of course, after settling down, we encountered quite a few circumstances we didn't anticipate before hand, and one of the biggest things that slipped by us was how much the area slowly changed from the first time we visited it, until what it is today. Also, the cost of living isn't really that much lower, and the traffic here is much worse than what I ever dealt with in California. (Just be aware that not everything will be a tropical paradise.)

I'd say that one of the biggest factors in determining how happy you're going to be over here, is how well you get along with her family, and what type of people they are. Of course, if you live far away from them, then it probably won't be too much of an issue, however, if they live near by, then you really want to make sure you've got a good picture of these people before you settle along side them.

I think that it's virtually impossible for a American to find work in the Philippines, and during my many travels here, I've only met one American who was legally employed by a company here (he was a maintenance mechanic working for a large hospital).

Personally, I'm starting to make some tentative steps to return home, and maybe visit here a few months each year. I'm thinking about Kingman, Winatchee, and Lake Havasu, but still keeping things open. (unfortunately got rid of my house.)
Thank you for sharing your personal experience on this subject.

I find it difficult to agree with your cost of living (COL) comparrison. You state that California's COL is not much different to that of PI's. Really? Could you share a few details? From what little I was exposed to - and from what others have shared - the COL in PI seems much lower than California's. In addition, California is THE worst place in the nation to retire in precisely due to its COL and taxation. See the following link:

https://www.fidelity.com/insights/retirement/10-worst-states-to-retire-2014

Regarding her family, fortunately, I get along very well with the great majority of them, especially the ones who count the most (i.e., her mother, sisters and their families).

It seems like most people have the same opinion about US Citizens finding PT work in PI. So, this will be an issue of concern along with the greater concern . . . healthcare after 60!
 

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Nile,

Check out this calculator Cost of Living Comparison Between Manila, Philippines And Los Angeles, CA, United States

Manila and Cebu are probably the most expensive places to live within the Philippines. I think that a lot of people hear how cheap it can be here and expect it to be like that everywhere in country. If you want to live in a metropolitan city it's going to cost more than out in the province.

I chose the Freeport due to the small town atmosphere, just higher enough rent to keep the undesirables away and no worries.
 

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Thank you for sharing your personal experience on this subject.

I find it difficult to agree with your cost of living (COL) comparrison. You state that California's COL is not much different to that of PI's. Really? Could you share a few details? From what little I was exposed to - and from what others have shared - the COL in PI seems much lower than California's. In addition, California is THE worst place in the nation to retire in precisely due to its COL and taxation. See the following link:

https://www.fidelity.com/insights/retirement/10-worst-states-to-retire-2014

Regarding her family, fortunately, I get along very well with the great majority of them, especially the ones who count the most (i.e., her mother, sisters and their families).

It seems like most people have the same opinion about US Citizens finding PT work in PI. So, this will be an issue of concern along with the greater concern . . . healthcare after 60!

I would say that at first our grocery expense was approximately equal to what it was in California (San Francisco Bay Area) but we've modified our diets, and have cut out a nearly all red meats. Also, our electricity bill is probably 80% what it was in California, but over there I had a 1,400 sqft house, while over here we have something more like 950 sqft. I think that gasoline in our area is about 50.00 Pesos to the liter , which I think would put it about on par with prices in Northern California. Of course we don't have a daily commute, so I don't spend nearly as much on gas as I did before.

I think that if you try to maintain your old American life style here (diet) it can be quite expensive. I find that I spend a lot more time around the house, fixing things, only go out once or twice a week, and don't eat out in restaurants that often. My experience has been that the expenses can really rack up, when you're living here permanently, as opposed to when you're just visiting. However, as a wise man once said, your mileage may vary.

I agree with the above comments, sitting on the 101, 405, or 5 is no way to spend your time on this Earth. Almost anything is better than that.
 

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I too have had to adjust, because if I lived like I was in the US it would definitely be more expensive. Like Maxx, I have modified my diet and reduced red meat to only occasionally with more chicken and fish 90% of the time. Electricity is definitely costlier here and I have taken measures to get my bill down (LED lights, new appliances, cross airflow of house, gas stoves, less A/C). Gas is at 55p/L ($4.78/G) so it is on par with the US. I use diesel for my main transport 43p/L ($3.74/G) which helps on some cost and one tank of LPG per month (795p/20Kg). Usually my electric bill has been averaging 5500p/mo using around 500kw. That is using one A/C unit in the bedroom mostly at night.
 

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All of what you all outline makes me feel better about expenses, as I paid about $200 or more per month in Va Beach in peak hot or cold seasons, and That with two zone controls and a geo thermal heat pump. Pay only about 60-70 per mo here in WA, but we dont need A/C at all, so go figure. Fuel sounds reasonable if I have a vehicle at all...for sure if Subic. My diet already mirrored The fish, chick and veggies (and beans) anyway. Even wine from Australia seemed reasonable when I was there. Ill pay cash for house ( or lease right Subic) so things are looking good!
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Nile,

Check out this calculator Cost of Living Comparison Between Manila, Philippines And Los Angeles, CA, United States

Manila and Cebu are probably the most expensive places to live within the Philippines. I think that a lot of people hear how cheap it can be here and expect it to be like that everywhere in country. If you want to live in a metropolitan city it's going to cost more than out in the province.

I chose the Freeport due to the small town atmosphere, just higher enough rent to keep the undesirables away and no worries.
Thanks for the numbeo website. Awesome comparisson info found there. Been crusing thru it several days.

I agree that Manila most likely is more expensive than elsewhere in PI. Yet, just a few weeks ago, a relative of my fiancé contacted her regarding a 2-BR condo in the McKinley Hills area which we visited during our vacation. Total monthly payment? $200USD.

Since we live in SoCal, $200USD/month sounds like a bargain to me. Sadly, we would need no less than a 3-BR unit. This is only one of many factors to consider.
 

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HI FOLKS! I am already of that age and retired in Thailand. After 3 trips to Phils I am going to move to Philippines for a host of reason that are obvious at this point in time. The country has been in the news for over 6 months and the wrong reasons and I've my fill of it.
I need info and guidance as to how to ship my personal belongings (about 40 books, clothing, nicknacks, shoes, and maybe a microwave that is a life saver as it cooks rice and steams chicken and veggies).
I have estimated about 1.5 cubic meters of volume. The obvious means of shipping will be by cargo ship. I know of no company that ships to Philippines from Bangkok.
If you have that info and can convey it to me you will be helping me tremendously.
I am a Therapeutic Nutritionist. If I can help anyone with nutritional issues, I will be happy to do so.
Thanks and God bless
Pisico (AKA Ricky)
 
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