Skip to comments.Great ExPat Options Where are they? Costa Rica? Others?
Posted on 11/07/2012 2:10:02 PM PST by NoLibZone
I desire to explore options for relocation away from the US.
Countries to live in.
What are some expat Freepers experiences and tips and tricks?
But you aren't allowed to “own” property in the Philippines. But you can rent.
As for crime: Yes, a problem: a local FilAm (US NAVY) who retired here was killed in our town last month...the robbers were after his money. Guns need permits, and my stepson is a strict Christian and won't break the law, so we have a couple of huge dogs and a machete...
And of course, we also have typhoons, floods, corruption, and Dengue fever. But since we have back up generators and our own water pump, brownouts (which are frequent) don't bother us much.
Oh yes: you will need a maid for cooking and doing the laundry.
you don’t need a residence in the US to keep your citizenship. It makes it easier for banking and voting but a lot of us don’t keep a house in the US at all.
Manila is very expensive. Most ExPats live in Cebu and other places like it that are nice, but not expensive and a single guy can live well for less than 1k a month on a SS check or a 401k or combination of both.
I’ve looked into Costa Rica, but crossed it off my list for a variety of reasons, liberal ExPats not being one of them.
I’m from SF and live in the Bay Area, so anywhere else would be an upgrade for me politically.
There are other options than the Phils, but it seems to be the best as far as your dollar goes, and the weather is nice but humid, the people are friendly and most speak English.
Many natives remember who bailed them out in WWII and are grateful as are their children, who are now adults and have passed along the history of their country to their children, but like most countries, many young people are ingrates that only care about themselves, something you will find no matter where you go.
Still, the people are friendly and the country is for the most part beautiful if you know where to go.
As mentioned, Manila/QC Metro is not one of them as it is crowded, dirty, smoggy, crime-ridden, expensive, etc...
Most ExPats prefer the Visayan Island region, such as Cebu.
There are plenty of American ExPats and American military living there, thus there are many people to befriend that you can share stories with about America if you get homesick.
I plan on living out my retirement in the Phils unless I find something better for my buck, but I’ve done my research and thanks to Freeper AlexW for the tip about the Phils as he has happily lived there and made a great life for himself and has done so on a modest income.
I’ve also talked with another forum friend of mine on another forum that has done the same, except he is younger and has a modest injury settlement from a work disability and also moved there and is quite happy as well.
You don’t need to be rich to make the move, but it helps to have an exit plan in case things go bad, and to have some “seed” money to get set up in your new home as the little things will add up quickly.
99% of the people are honest and well-meaning, but you need to be street smart, just like you do anywhere else and avoid being taken advantage of.
People may be nice, but not all people are going to do something for you out without expecting something in return, so always trust, but verify. That goes without saying pretty much anywhere.
BTW LadyDoc, where are you (in general) in the RP?
I’ve also read that overall, the crime rate in the Phils is lower than in the US, but that can vary by region and by city.
AC is notorious for crime and corruption, while places like Dumaguete in Cebu where AlexW lives is considered to be one of the safest places in the Visayas.
As for Mindanao, General Santos City would probably be the safest place to live.
And for the Luzon region, I would pick Subic Bay/Olangapo City due to its former status as a US Naval base and many ExPats have made it home.
What are your thoughts and opinions on crime and corruption on the 3 main regions?
I know to stay away from the islands in the Sulu sea, as the y are infested with the Abu Sayyaf Muslims.
I live a bit north of Manila, in a rice growing area...not many “Europeans” here (a couple of Europeans or Yanks married to local gals, but most Americans are Phil Ams)... Indeed, I think I’m the only “white” lady in our town. (I’m married to a Filipino doc and we retired to his home town).
If I moved here without family, I’d check out Subic or Clark, where a lot of ex military live, so that I wouldn’t be lonely. Baguio also might be nice if you can afford it.(in the mountains, much cooler). I don’t know a thing about the other areas, sorry.
As for crime: you just have to play it safe...lock the doors, have a couple vicious dogs in your home, don’t live alone, travel in a car with dark windows and locked doors, and stay in the upper crust places to shop unless you are known or have locals with you. Gated communities are a bit safer.
In most areas with ex pats you won’t run into a language problem. Even in our area, most of the clerks speak English (that wasn’t true 20 years ago). And Manila has good medical care and you can buy “overseas” insurance since Medicare won’t pay for you here.
Since I am with family I’m not really the best one to ask for advice...
Thanks for your input.
I would like to settle in Subic/Olangapo, but it is more expensive than Cebu
I hear Cebu is nicer anyway and safer.
Yeah, they're called prostitutes.
Many of the local men can’t provide for the local women and the society is different as they don’t discriminate against older men.
In fact, they see them as wiser and more worldly and experienced and as stable providers.
Different cultures, different customs.
In the US, you would likely be correct.