During my pool league game I talked with a few guys that were in the bar and the thing I got out of talking to them is the lack of things to do while on retirement here and how everyone ended up here. So after a few days of thinking about it here are my thoughts:
Some are here for a long stay visits, some are working and many are living here permanently like me. For those that are long term visitor the main factor with them is how long will their saving hold out before they need to return home and work for their never visit over.
Those that have jobs here are doing good since they have a steady income and are working in the day time so for them life is pretty much normal like living back home in some ways.
The Permanent people that I have met of the most part have been here a long time now 10 years and longer so they are pretty much set and just living life and loving it here. They have their friends which they have made and have plenty to keep them busy so they donít get to bored here with the daily routine of life in Subic Bay. I would also guess that many of the long time Expats have saved for the move to the Philippines, have or had good jobs or business that provide them income, have a some type of retirement plan going beside Social Security and may even have investments. I donít ask people about their incomes, not my business or place to ask so I may be a bit off on my assuming how some survive here on a limited income.
To live here fairly well off you need between 2,000 and 2,500US$ a month to really enjoy your time here the way I see it. If you are single and like the party life you could need even more! Can you live on less, sure you can if you want to you can get by with 1,400US$ if living alone.
Since we had our child in March 2013 I have managed to live on the 1,400 a month, it takes some adjustment for me but am about to do.
Others that are new here find the adjustment a bit different since they are limited in friends and activities to get into. Another issue is adjusting to living on a set income which is not easy for many to do after they stop working. Needs that come up they unexpectedly can really set a person off their game plan. Family issue can make a person start to think about seeking work here or over-seas to support their needs in Philippines.
People ask how much you would need to live the Philippines. That is a hard question to answer since we all live a different style life and enjoy different things. Having some form of transportation is always nice to have and one thing many Expats are use to having and find it hard to live without. Added to that is the age of most guys living here the idea of climbing in and out of a Jeepney or Trike is now to appealing or something they can do because of some medical condition.
Many move to a few times before the place with will settle down at or buying their own place. You need to live in an area to see if you like it there or now, will the area flood during the rainy season, what condition is the house / apartment and does the landlord make repairs quickly when needed. Some places want first month rent and deposit to move it while other may want 2 or 3 monthís rent and a security deposit.
Moving into a rented unfurnished house when you first get to the Philippines? As a rough guess to get everything you need for the house, food, drink and your computer (deck top) plan to spend about 240,000peso to be on the safe side, if you want that 50inch Flat screen and a killer stereo well you could be closer to the 265k mark! Of course it can be lower but that depends on your taste and what you want in your place where you live and if it will be a 1, 2 or 3 bedroom place. If you need a 3 bedroom house better plan on about 350k for the full package.
Other charges Ė Have a Filipina as your girl friend? Ok then plan on her family expensive too, yeah thatís right you just adopted a family that is just the way it goes here so get use to it. Chances are if you already have a Filipina GF then you know what that cost you each month already but once you move here you may find that cost to go up some, maybe! I say maybe because she may have working in a bar and was supporting the family and now that you are moving here and she will not be working someone has to take up the slack in the lost income.
Other issues Ė Getting your GF / wife working
Like many counties in Asian jobs are hard to find for unskilled labor, even those with college degrees have a hard time finding work. Age makes a difference here in Subic / Olongapo city, many places want young workers below 27 years of age if that old. Looks seems to make a difference too. When I go in the stores in Olongapo the girls working are young and good looking and I mean really good looking too! So for your average looking girl I would say she could have a hard time finding work if she is not slim and attractive since that is all I have seen working in the city stores.
You have to keep in mind also that she may not feel the need to find work since her man said he will take care of her and that is what she is expecting. Now understand I am not talking about all girls since many will want to keep earning their own income and helping out in the house. So the question is how did the two of meet her and what the 2 of you talked about before coming a couple.