From time to time I come across an article that is really worth sharing. fair warning before you read any farther here. There are a lot of words ahead, and many of you will no6t necessarily agree with them, so feel free to hit your “Back” button if you are not in a thinking mood or inclined toward rational discussion as opposed to knee jerk reaction.
Many readers automatically believe I am somehow ‘selling” the Philippines or that I exist here to try to convince people that they ought to move here to the Philippines to live for some reason or another.
This is not the case. I live in the Philippines by choice. I may live here for many more years, I might move to some other country aside from the USA or I might return to the USA … only time will tell.
I feel many readers would be happy making a move to the Philippines. I also feel many would not, and I strongly advise that no one burn their bridges in making a move.
I simply try to help those who do want to make the moved with answers to questions and tips I have found useful.
My overall advice is, due your own “Due Diligence” because the Philippines is not a “paradise” and it is not, at all, the place everyone who initially thinks of the idea should decide to follow through on.
Jack Reed is a writer if no small note. He has published “real” books, the kind that are sold in book stores and he operates a successful and profitable real estate investment news letter … the kind sent on paper that arrives in your snail mail box.
Jack is also a very successful publisher. Again real books that are printed on real paper which he sells all over the world from his home office in California, USA. He has some thoughts well worth thinking about here, but be assured before you start reading that he is not going to be advising you to move to the Philippines.
I certainly am not going to copy all Jacks’ article here because I have no permission to do so and because it’s way longer than my meager word smithing efforts normally are . But here’s a few snippets along with my comments so you can make your own decision about the value of reading the whole thing.
John T. Reed’s Review of How to Retire Overseas by Kathleen Peddicord
Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed
When I review a book, I often have to tell you what the title should have been to be more accurate. Such is the case here.
The book is not about how to retire overseas. Its subtitle is the more accurate title: “Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for less) Abroad.”
For example, the book probably spends about as much time discussing having school-age children overseas as it does retirement.
I liked the book a lot in general. It told me of many important things I did not expect.
I have no plans to retire overseas, or to retire period. I am one of those guys who loves what he does and it happens to be writing which is not a job that you get aged out of very often. …
Like Mr. Reed, I have no plans to ever ‘retire’. I am drawing an annuity from several previous jobs and from Social Security as well, so I am technically retired, but I spend nearly as many hours now with my own writing, entrepreneurial efforts online and off and with family issues as I did when I was “employed”.
One difference between how I live now and how I lived then is that I can not be fired, laid off or told to report to yet another session of “Death By PowerPoint”. I often urge those of you still stuck in the “J*O*B” syndrome to seriously consider moving from last century’s ideas in the present, because the outlook of old fashioned “jobs” is bleak, either in the Philippines or back in the USA.
… Peddicord is also a writer, as is her husband, but they seem to be involved with it as a business with offices and employees and such. I just work alone out of my home office. See my book How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Own How-To Book. …
This is what drew me to Jack’s article in the first place. Kathleen Peddicord is a traveler, wrier American expat and real estate promoter, along with her husband Lief Simon. She operates a mini-empire of “Live Overseas” ventures. I neither recommend nor dis-recommend Kathleen. She does not even deal with any information regarding the Philippines, even though she is big on promoting the Philippines’ near neighbors of Malaysia and Thailand.
When I queried her organization regarding this omission and offered to furnish her some updated information on the Philippines, I was shunted of to some underling who essentially wanted me to fill out an employment application. Yuk. You don’t make enough to pay me what it would take to have me fill out an employment application and submit a resume’, Kathleen, sorry.
But some of you may find Kathleen’s offers and information valuable. You can read more at Live and Invest Overseas.
The second part of the small snippet of Jack Reed’s article above bears some close attention from some of you. Day after day people write in and ask how they could earn a living in the Philippines, preferably without the hassles and normally the abysmally low pay of a job in the Philippines.
If you are one of those folks, and if you can string a few words together, intelligently, on almost any useful subject, you should reads Jack’s “How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Own How To Book”. This is not a commissioned sales or “affiliate” link, it’s an honest recommendation from a guy (me) who actually paid US dollars for a real, paper book and found, in my judgment, it offers way, way more value than the price Jack charges for it.
Here are a couple more snippets from the article
… Buying real estate
Buying real estate seems to range from different to you gotta be kidding me. For example, she says there are virtually no multiple listing services outside the U.S. Each company has a couple of listings and you go from one to the other to see all the listings. That is the way investment property works here. Foreigners (that’s you when you are outside of the U.S.) are prohibited by local law from owning real estate in many places. You need a local partner or some convoluted bank trust or the like to buy.
You say you need financing? Ha! Even in places like Canada and New Zealand the maximum mortgage term is something like three to seven years. When I mentioned our 30-year fixed-rate mortgages at 4.125% to my Canadian banker, he was astonished. I think there is only one other country that has mortgages like the U.S.
In Latin America, not only are virtually all homes purchased with cash, they use U.S. dollars to do so, not local currency! …
There is no getting around some simple facts about living in the Philippines. I say this as a property owner (in joint tenancy with my Philippine-citizen wife) in the Philippines. Compared with being a property owner in, say, the USA, it sucks.
1. Property rights here in the Philippines are not respected: People may decide to move in and “informally settle” (i.e “squat”) on your property with relative impunity. Even the national government,l backed by armed police, often has to quit when trying to relocate “informal settlers”. You can, of course, go to court. It will be long, expensive and the outcome is uncertain. If you win your case, there may still be no authority capable of removing the squatters without bloodshed or (something to worry about) violent after-the-fact vengeful retaliation.
2. The land title system here in the Philippines is broken: Likewise the simple act of transferring property between family members can take years. The Philippines, in company with mainland China, is one of the only civilized countries where you can not obtain tile insurance to defend your claim to property from issues that were not evident during the pre-sale title search. Hazardous to your financial health.
3. Mortgages in the Philippines are Horrible: Jack mentions this. Not only are the facts from other countries he cites true, but a factor here in the Philippines that many Americans are going to be upset about is rampant ‘ageism” … age discrimination. In order to take out a mortgage, even for very short terms, say three to five years, and very high rates (12% is considered a bargain) the primary mortgagor is going to have to be less than 65 at the time the mortgage matures (gets paid off). Want to come here to the Philippines at a typical US retirement age of 65 and buy a condo. (one of the few real estate transactions a foreigner can spend his money on). Well, better bring cash because no bank is going to give you a mortgage.
4. The Philippines Does Not Want Older People at All: At 65 here in the Philippines, as my daddy used to say, “You have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel”. (and as an OBTW side note, don’t try availing of the Philippines’ official government mandated Senior Citizen program … a foreigner, (even a balikbayn Filipino) risks jail time and deportation. Mere possession of a Philippine senior Citizen Discount card if you are a resident Philippine citizen is a crime. I can hear the moans from the Florida “gray panthers’ and the AARP already.
I could go on … but I won’t. This is not going to be one of those “Things I Don’t Like About the Philippines’ articles. After all, I live here in the Philippines, and I DO know the way to the airport if I don’t want to continue living here.
But I just thought some of Jack’s comments are well worth reading and thinking about.
What about you? What’s your reason for wanting to live in the Philippines?