Here’s an interesting comment I just received. It shares so much useful information about living in the Philippines I just felt I had to highlight it and give a little of my own perspective, rather than letting it die a slow death in the comments section.
Good Morning To All,
First, let me say I certainly enjoy the information yourself and your readers share on this site. I have visited a number of expat sites and yours along with the fellow from Davao get most of my attention.
Well thanks for the kind words. I really don’t care all that much about “being liked”, but I do live for indications that I provide something of value at times when people need it.
Just so the casual reader knows a bit about “where I am at”, I never started this blog to “make money online” or for any hidden purpose other than documenting my journey.
Actually, blogging to make money is likely the WORST possible way to get started online … you can read a lot more about legitimate ways to make money on one of my more appropriate web properties, where I try to help people Empower Their Retirement.
If by “the guy from Davao” you are referring to my good friend Mindanao Bob, then you are looking in the right places. Bob has been living in the Philippines for more than 10 years now, and unlike many of us in the Philippine blogger’s niche, he is earning his living from online business … more than those of us living in the Philippines on pensions can say.
I am a 68-year-old American married to a wonderful Filipina for 11 years now and we are blessed with an absolutely amazing 3-year-old son.
We are planning to retire within the next year and relocate to the Philippines.
We have visited often for extended periods and I truly hope we are prepared for the huge adjustments we will face in our new home.
We have deviated from some of the advice offered here and I would like to point out our reasons for doing so.
I point these out not to be argumentative but to simply offer a different perspective.
Well not to give away your points, I’ll say I don’t find your views very contrary to mine at all. But dissenting views are always more than welcome here, as long as people can leave out the politics . Seems we are very close in a lot of ways… very close to the same age and you have been married exactly the same amount of time that my wonderful Philippine/American wife, the Unofficial Cook and I have been.
First, we have chosen to locate near Butuan City where my wife was born and raised. The reasons for that choice are many and I will cite a few.
My in-law family there has welcomed me and has been a huge help to me in my acclamation to the Philippines. They have in no way been a burden, in fact just the opposite, they have been quite accommodating and helpful. I have not had a problem with “borrowing relatives”, again just the opposite. My wife’s family has always been there to take care of certain business matters that we cannot handle being here in the U.S. I have read a number of comments advising against living close to family, however, I am close to my family here and look forward to being close to my family there. The close family ties and inter-relationships are one of the things that has always endeared me to the Philippines.
This certainly mirrors much of my experience. In fact, we lost Mita’s dad a couple months ago and there is now a real void in my life. I can’t count how many times I called upon “daddy” to help with this or that, or to bounce ideas off of to help keep me grounded.
I find it appalling how many foreigners are planning to “marry into” the Philippines yet still have no relationship, or even a hostile relationship[p with their soon-to-be new family.
In my view, if you have a poor relationship with your wife’s family, you’d be much better off just staying in the USA or wherever else “home” is now.
Second, After years of research and soul-searching, we decided to purchase a home instead of renting. We did so because, I like you, believe that one can no longer depend on past retirement ideas and beliefs. I too think that one should have a plan to earn a living independent of social security and conventional retirement vehicles.
The home we purchased is outside the city itself and is situated on 8 hectares. We plan to raise hogs and chickens as well as farm the already existing fruit trees and vegetables.
I’m with you all the way on that. In fact, I’m green-eyed because my wife and I will likely never own 8 hectares of land. But we do own three small farming plots in Zambales. north of Manila and they are all in production now, and we hope to increase their output significantly;y in coming years.
I often recommend to people searching for business ideas in the Philippines that they look very hard into agriculture. usually this idea falls on deaf ears, because somehow the US attitude has seemed to shift to the idea that getting your hands dirty is somehow a bad thing.
But this is a hungry country and in many cases the opportunity for improving land productivity is huge. I have a real-world, well-researched article on living in the Philippines by raising chickens, (thanks, Jacob) and believe me, there are similar opportunities for pork and beef raising as well.
Done smartly, it would be hard to imagine an agricultural venture that won’t pay here in the Philippines.
We are both familiar with this type of business and hope we can utilize our skills there to provide income.
We have enough retirement income to live on and we paid cash for our home, so worse case we can simply search for a new means of earning an income. We DID NOT purchase our home “sight unseen” and have owned it for about four years now while hiring someone to handle the fruit and vegetable operation. This has worked quite well for us and we think we will be able to continue and improve the existing operation.
These are the reasons we chose to go against what seems to be the prevailing wisdom. As I mention above we are prepared to shift gears in the event the need arises. I know we will face unforeseen challenges so the best I can do is be both mentally and financially prepared. I would welcome any comments and will certainly appreciate any critique or advice on my plans.
Your site offers a wealth of knowledge and insight about expat life in the Philippines I look forward with great anticipation to being a part of that life.
I will conclude by thanking you for providing this opportunity to allow me add my 2 cents to the ongoing discussion.
Mike, you’ll get no argument from me on any of your plan. I think you have your feet solidly on the ground and have every chance of success.
Rather than you thinking me for the opportunity, it is I how must offer sincere thanks for such a valuable contribution.
Surely there will be some comments to this post? Thanks, Mike. Comments on Mike’s plans for how to live in the Philippines?