Recently I made a fellow member of a forum I frequent unhappy … maybe he was actually pissed off, but at the least he certainly wasn’t happy.
I didn’t mean to do this, I just sort of let my frustration show, because this fello9w was joining in yet another protracted query session about how much it really cost to live in the Philippines … accompanied by the usual queries about, “is the cost of living in the cities in the Philippines really a lot more than living out in the provinces in the Philippines” really much different, and etc., and etc. and etc.
What’s The Cost Of Living In The Philippines?
The questions actually seem reasonable, but after writing literally dozens of “Philippine Cost of Living’ articles for this site, and others .. and wading through literally hundreds of other articles, all focused on the same subject, life gets a bit frustrating.
The horse is dead, folks. You can continue flogging him until hell freezes over, but he still isn’t coming back to life. Start living in reality. A few simple facts:
- Things cost what they cost
- There is no such thing as the “cost of living” in the Philippines 9or anywhere else)
- What it costs you to live will be how much you decide to spend
- MOST IMPORTANTLY … if you can live in the USA, you can live in the Philippines, no question
- However the thing to think through is whether you WANT to live in the Philippines or not. It’s up to you.
Here’s a great illustration I came across recently regarding the “Cheapest Places” to retire in the USA. I really wish I had accurate facts and figures like this for the Philippines, but we don’t have huge armies of government employees putting such surveys together here.
However, my main point will hold true, even though these are US current costs.
I encourage you to read the whole article. It’s quite illuminating. Some of the places mentioned I would never have considered as place sin the USA to retire.
But I’ll summarize a few important points and relate tem to my contention that endless questions about “How Much is the Cost of Living in the Philippines” is just a lot of mental masturbation. Instead of endlessly planning and procrastinating, just do something. the real thing is so much better
Many baby boomers who haven’t saved enough to retire well are contemplating delaying retirement. But if working into your 70s isn’t possible (or appealing), moving to a place with a much lower cost of living can help stretch your retirement savings and finance a better quality of life.
A retirement income of $40,000 per year certainly won’t go very far in Honolulu or Miami, but there are plenty of other places where it can fund a comfortable retirement lifestyle. If you’re willing to relocate to a place with a low cost of living and affordable housing, this modest retirement income could give you access to interesting activities and top-notch medical care.
Producing a retirement income of $40,000 is a realistic goal for many retired couples, even those without a traditional pension. The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. For a married couple each receiving the average amount, that’s a retirement income of just under $30,000 per year. Add to that a modest nest egg of $250,000, and that could bring your retirement income to around $40,000 per year, depending on how the money is invested, your draw-down strategy, and the inflation rate.
To find places where retirees can live well on less than $40,000 per year, U.S. News analyzed recently released 2011 Census Bureau data. We screened for places with the lowest housing costs for people age 60 and older, including mortgage payments for people who had one, other housing costs for people who have paid off their mortgage, and the typical rent for renters, as well as the proportion of their budget retirees spend on housing costs. Then, among the places where people age 60 and older spend the least on housing, we picked cities with the best amenities seniors will need, including major medical facilities, services for seniors, colleges, and cultural and outdoor activities.
Here are 10 great places to retire on less than $40,000 per year in 2013: …
Now what is interesting here is the fact I have recently re-confirmed and re-written so articles where I assert that having an income of $2000 USD to $2500per month is plenty to live (modestly, but comfortably)) anywhere in the Philippines. That contrasts very favorably with what the US News and World Report experts seem to think is right around the bottom of the barrel income level.
Their lower-end figure of $40,000 USD per year is about $3333 USD per month. $2500/$3333 is about 75%, indicating it’s about 75% as expensive to retire in the Philippines than in the USA.
Actually I host a couple real-world tools here, with figures provided by actual people living here, which suggest the Philippines might be quite a bit cheaper, but let’s go ahead with my conservative figures. You might like to tinker with:
Interesting stuff, and far more reliable than just my opinions, or any other single person talking about cost of living on line.
But take a trip back to the original article I recommended for just another moment. I’m going to quickly summarize the cities they recommend and the cost they got from official, latest available sources:
Housing cost for people age 60 and older was $1,150 monthly for those with a mortgage, $358 for homeowners without a mortgage, and $657 for renters.
Housing costs for residents age 60 and older was $1,064 for homeowners with a mortgage, $353 for seniors who have paid off their homes and $626 for renters.
Housing costs range from a median of $1,107 for homeowners who have a mortgage, $350 for retirees who have paid off their mortgages, and $712 monthly for renters.
For homeowners with a mortgage, $1,053 per month in housing costs, $329 if they had paid off their mortgage and $624 per month for renters.
Housing costs $1,060 per month with a mortgage, $347 monthly for those without a mortgage and $625 per month for renters.
Little Rock, Ark.
Housing costs, $1,059 if they have a mortgage and $360 monthly once the mortgage is paid off and $656 monthly for renters.
Housing costs of $1,068 monthly if they have a mortgage and just $373 if they have paid off their mortgage and $573 per month for renters.
Housing costs $1,079 with a mortgage,
; $435 with no mortgage and $590 per month in rent.
Housing costs $1,186 monthly for retirees with a mortgage, $442 among seniors with a paid-off house, and $657 monthly in rent.
Housing costs of $1,155 monthly with mortgage, $398 if they have paid off their mortgage and $660 for renters.
So what can we glean from these figures?
Where You Chose To Live Has very Little To Do With Monthly Costs
We can show, by actual data that there there isn’t a “nickel’s worth of difference … well not really. But not $140 dollars a month’s worth of difference between the highest and the lowest monthly costs for all these quite varied cities. Based on more than 10 years experience with counseling, consulting and problem solving for people moving to the Philippines, a similar chart for the Philippines would have very comparable results.
There are a lot of factors to consider in moving to the Philippines, but truly, obsessing over costs is certainly not one of them. Oh, and yes, it’s cheaper living here in the Philippines. For sure.