Friday, January 1, 2010

Reflecting on the Move

I've been browsing through some of the sites of foreigners who have come to retire in the Philippines. I haven't yet seen one living in Manila, and I wonder if their $1000++ pension goes a long way in Manila. I am sure the cost of living in the rural areas of the Philippines is nothing like in Manila.

But I have done a bit of the math...After all, I have lived in Manila all my life and I know the cost of living here. So here it goes $180 for rent; around $200 for food; $100 for utilities; around $400 for his medicines, which brings us to a grand total of $880. Of course, at this point everything is just an estimate, and I allotted a big chunk of the money from his pension for his medicines, because after all, the money is generated by him.

On the other hand, we are a two-income household. I work so I contribute a portion of our expenses. I also clear a portion of my Credit Card for any emergency expense like a plane ticket to the US for him.

I also want to prioritize his health in our expenses, because I feel the quality of our life together will be determined largely by his health condition. He isn't in his mid 60s yet and he retired below the retirement age, but at an age where he can retire already (62). He could have waited until he turned 65, but things have made it such that it is certainly more practical to live here now than it is to live over there... at least for the moment.


  1. Very Interesting.
    I look foward to reading further posts


  2. Hi Joseph!
    I'll try my best to keep this blog updated! :)

  3. We live close enough to Metro Manila to see it, but we are technically "promdis". It's easy to see this just by going to the supermarket or department store and not finding what you need that's available just a few miles away inside the magic of the NCR itself.

    The issue of cost of living inside or outside bigger cities is often difficult to actually compute. Even 'just' outside the Metro, we pay much less for labor ..I chuckled a bit at the post where you recounted your moving in issues ... I can just hire a handyman for P600 or P800 a day and tell him to sit in the corner until I need a leg nailed on ;-) ... or a circuit breaker replaced, etc. (of course I'll have to loan him the tool most likely as well, but hey, it's cheap.

    But to me it's surprising how often we need to go into 'the city' for something or other ... or just do without because we don't want to deal with the trip ... so in many ways the costs begin to even out.

    Anyone who has even a hint of needing substantive medical care ought to consider living in a major city, because even somewhat routine medical lab work and tests are hard to find in 'country districts'.

    The monthly cost of living for any couple is going to vary much more based on how they chose to live rather than where they live. My wife explained it pretty well a few weeks ago, reflecting on 4 years back in the Philippines after 6 years in the States. The 'range' of possible monthly living costs here is much wider. In other words it costs a lot more in the US 'just to keep the lights turned on' than it does here in the Philippines ... and that goes for city or country living.

  4. Hi Dave! Thanks for being such a constant visitor. :) I am a big fan of your blog site too. :) I think you are right.. but my husband says his medicines may cost much more in the Philippines than it would over there. Although he bought already a 3 months worth of medicine, so I wouldn't know until 4 months whether that is true or not, once we start buying his medicines in Manila.

    In regard to my choice of place to stay.. unfortunately I am a city dweller. I would be as lost in the provinces as my husband would be. :)) I know absolutely no dialect apart from Tagalog, and am even more conversant with English sometimes.

    I hardly go out-of-town other than vacation and I can't find my way in any other place than in Manila. But I think QC is as near a perfect choice to a "provincial life" as I could get. I find it so refreshing in the morning when I take a cab to work to see trees line up the center islands, you cannot find that in Makati or almost any other place of Manila.. Quezon City is where my heart is. :)