I guess it shouldn’t be too hard for me to rank on page one in Google for that title, should it? *smile*
But what the heck is an asteism? Well, as my dear departed and sorely missed daddy would have said, it’s a 64 dollar word for a backhanded compliment.
OK, so what is a backhanded compliment, for those who aren’t familiar with the term? (Hey, my dad was born in 1903, and I not long thereafter, so I am not always as up-to-date as some of my younger readers). Simply stated, it is an insult that is disguised as a compliment. Sometimes, a backhanded compliment may be inadvertent. However, the term usually connotes an intent to belittle or condescend.
A backhanded compliment may fool the listener, but the compliment remains “backhanded” because the speaker is being intentionally slighting and insulting. In some cultures, backhanded compliments are considered a genteel or polite way of expressing disdain
For example, how should a lady take this: “That dress is lovely; it does wonders for your figure.”? Or one I’ve received a time or two: “You’re smarter than you look.”?
A few weeks ago, during the run up to the Philippine presidential Inauguration, a lady who was somehow connected with improving the President-elect’s appearance told an international TV audience, “The President’s appearance is very important, after all, he is the figurehead of the Filipino people.”
When I first heard that I thought she had chosen her words poorly and perhaps she should have said he was the leader or the embodiment or the public image of the country. A beacon for the world, something along those lines.
But then again, maybe she really meant to say that he was a non-functional, strictly decorative, wooden-headed figure placed on the bow of a ship solely out of tradition and vanity. Not for me to say , I don’t know her thoughts.
But when a fellow devotes time and effort to establish a web site, do research and write articles promoting retirement in the Philippines … a situation I and many others like me are currently enjoying … one might expect he would use terms that actually were at least factual, and certainly he would avoid asteisms. Here’s a quote:
… While Malaysia may have … even a special retirement scheme for single foreigners or expat couples, there’s little doubt that the Philippines has much more to offer … Foreign Retirement in the Philippines – Dreams can come true! »
I don’t know about you, but if I wrote regularly on retirement (which I do) and in particular on retirement in the Philippines (which I of course do here on PhilFAQS), I would try to do a better job on learning what’s available here in the Philippines via official programs which make it easier for Americans (and other foreigners) to retire here in the Philippines.
I have looked into the ‘special retirement scheme” offered by Malaysia, as well as ‘retiree enticements’ in several other countries and in my opinion the Philippines meets or exceeds the benefits of any Asian country for prospective retirees.
If you are a single person thinking about retirement, or a couple who neither one are Filipinos or former Filipinos, the Philippines has a comprehensive long-stay visa program just for you …it’s called the SRRV (Special Resident Retirement Visa). And the purpose of this article is to let you know that is you are unaware of the SRRV (as the fellow Philippine retirement proponent I quoted seems to be), then you owe it to yourself to find out.
In the past four years I have been living in the Philippines I find that the vast majority of retirees and potential retirees either don’t know of this program at all, or are handicapped because what they know isn’t correct. Here are a few typical questions and answers that may help you in your planning:
Q: Is the SRRV for everyone?
A: No. The earliest one can avail of the SRRV is age 35 (at the time of joining)
Q: Isn’t there some massive investment required?
A: Well, all “flavors” of the SRRV do require an investment. It’s formally called a “Retiree’s Deposit” and in order of highest to lowest, they go like this:
Retirees who do not have (or chose to show) a formal pension income:
35 to 49 years old – US$50,000
50 years old and above – US$20,000
Retirees who chose to qualify with a monthly pension in addition to their required deposit
(for a single retiree, proof of at least USD$800 monthly, for a retired couple, USD$1000 monthly)
35 to 49 years old … not available
50 years old and above – USD$10,000
There is is also a category for Former Filipinos and certain foreign diplomatic personnel which I won’t get into in this article. The investment there can be as little as USD$1,500 USD.
As a strictly personal editorial comment, if you are thinking of moving to the Philippines with less than $10,000 USD in savings, … don’t. This is a very bad country to be broke in … even the poor on welfare in the US are very rich in comparison to poor people here, and there are very few government “safety nets”, unlike the USA.
Q: But is my deposit money gone forever?
A. No, not at all. Retiree deposits must be placed in one (or more) Philippine Retirement Authority accredited banks, where they earn interest, very much like any other bank time deposit. If the retiree leaves the money in the approved account and then, for example, decides to leave the Philippines and give up his/her SRRV, the money is returned. If the retiree dies, his/her investment is part of his estate and is dealt with in accordance with the retiree’s will, and/or the laws of the Philippines should s/he die intestate.
Q: I thought I could use the required deposit to purchase a condominium or lease a house and land.?
A: You can. After 30 days on deposit you can use your money to invest in several approved areas, including a condo purchase or the long-term (20 years or more) lease of property. But there is a catch. If you take your deposit out of the bank and invest it elsewhere, you will have to pay an annual “Visitorial Fee” This is on the order of 1% of the required deposit, as always you should check with the source, the Philippine Retirement Authority web site for up to date information).
Q: But is my Investment Safe?
A. Well if you leave it in an approved bank I think it’s about as safe as can be. Many people have expressed concern to me that the PDIC (Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation) only insures depositors in individual banks up to PhP 500,000 (about USD$10,800 at today’s rate). True enough, but the work around is built in … if a retiree desires, s/he may split the required deposit among multiple approved banks to keep the total deposit amount covered by PDIC protection.
Q: I heard the SRRV allows you to work in the Philippines?
A. Well the true answer is, it does and it doesn’t. If you are an SRRV holder under the required monthly pension option, no. You are not authorized to work (this may also include unpaid volunteer jobs) in the Philippines.
If you are in a no pension required category then yes, you have the right to work or operate a business in the Philippines. But, (and this is a big but), I have seen a ton of false information on this aspect of Philippine living) having the right to work does not give you permission to work. You must have an approved AEP (Alien Employment Permit) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment which authorizes a foreign national to work in the Philippines.
Q: Someone offered to process an SRRV for me for a fee. How do I know if this is a legitimate offer?
A. In almost all cases this is an offer you should avoid at all costs. It is not legal for any agency or individual except the PRA themselves to charge any fees for the SRRV. There are fees involved but they should be paid only to the PRA. The PRA accredits two types of marketing partners … existing businesses and independent marketers to help prospective visa holders with learning about the SRRV, but these marketers are paid only through the PRA. There is a list of accredited SRRV marketers on the PRA site. You do not have to pay anyone to assist you with this visa … pay only fees provided by law and pay only to the PRA themselves.
Q: But wait, don’t go, you haven’t answered another question I had…
A. Sorry, I’m all out of time at the moment. Here’s a source I highly recommend who can offer you a lot more information on the SRRV and in foreigner retirement in the Philippines in general. They are my main information source and I recommend them highly. Look for Ms. Susan Dudley, a true friend of PhilFAQS (tell her Philly sent you) and I am sure she can help.