Your Financial Plan To Live Abroad in Southeast Asia

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Author: Reekay V.

Since 2012 I’ve been traveling through various islands of the Philippines as a full-time Expat and spent 1999 living in Vietnam.

Share with me my ongoing adventures of life in the Philippines. Hopefully you find my observations helpful in your own adventures.
— Reekay


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  2. I also hate the message sent by these videos encouraging people to move to SE Asia and live on $1,000/mo or less. You are right on point about safety nets. You can live a lousy low income life in the US with the safety nets, such as they are, or “exist” in SE Asia with no safety net.

  3. For $1000.00 you can live like the average Russian citizen. Yes that’s true. But have you seen how that lifestyle is?
    No posh apartment in the city. You’re out in the sticks chopping wood for heat and cooking. Nice retirement.
    What people live on average in any country with a GDP of $500.00 to $1000.00 per month isn’t what you might hope as your own retirement lifestyle.
    Location matters $1,000 in Makati or GBC compared to village life where rent is cheap and food options are local, electric and telephone may be unreliable at best or nonexistent at worst. Medical oh nope….
    Listen to realistic budget given by people that have lived in areas you’re thinking about moving to. Consider the home or apartment they are renting.
    You can go with $2,500.00 budget and pare down to your acceptable minimum, but you can’t go with a $500.00 and wish an extra $1000.00 a month into existence. That’s just not going to happen.

  4. Yeah I think realistically I am going to budget $2,500 a month, but I have savings and my monthly pension is $7,200 a month.

  5. Absolutely, you have to have some important emergency money. Best to stay home otherwise. Asia is not a place to be with no money. Shoe string living has put some expats to living on the streets with no help here and it’s not pretty. Even some with money that lost it all ( gave it away) thinking with the wrong Head.

  6. I personally don’t think that you could live comfortably on less than $2,000.00 a month. I normally spend much more but I might be able to survive on that.

  7. Great commentary. Don’t come here with a super low income. Not worth it. Plenty of rural places in the US to live if you want to live cheap.

  8. Always good to have a reality check. I’ve watched probably 30 Philippine budget videos and everyone is pretty close to each other. Only a couple are south of $1k (both are couples) but they are the exception it seems.

  9. I’m now in Philippines for just over a month, traveling around. I’ve seen around eight or ten foreigners here who are homeless, and who have asked me for like 20 pisos or so. My worry is that, sometimes at least, it’s the worst of Americans (and Westerners) are now coming to RP on the least amount of money possible and will rely on just begging to survive. These people will give all us foreigners a terrible reputation. Also, when you as a foreigner end up homeless here in Philippines, you’ve absolutely hit rock bottom.

  10. I want to live within 2 km of a really nice mall with a good movie theater, noce restaurants and maybe even a good grocery store in The Ph. I’m willing to pay $500 usd/month for a one bedroom or studio apartment in that area.

  11. I wouldn’t go to the Philippines with less than $2K/month. I’m not leaving a 1st world country to live in in 3rd world country like the locals.

  12. it is the woman and entertaining her that costs, $1000 per month (or twice that).

  13. Such sage advice, to avoid what I have seen is emigrating there and becoming down and out broke and destitute. Life happens everywhere, and one must prepare for and project to take care of ” the worst event” that can happen to you and in a foreign nation. If something should happen you… Medically, or even criminal, and other events, you will find out…The hard way…There is no charity, and the motto in Asia is…”Everybody Pays”.
    If not you will find out how worthless your life can be there and your status plummets even less than a national. Could ay more….Peace

  14. Are there any houses on a nice beach in Bohol or Panglao for rent? 2 bedroom or 3 bedroom places or are the nice beaches all built up with commercial properties?
    I’m about 1 or 2 years away still so my question is general from you seeing things and not specific places currently available.

  15. Do you want to go to a country, where you have to pay 3000 USD just to get out of it?

  16. I’ve always told guys to work their money plan 5 to 10 yrs in advance in preparation to leaving.

    You don’t want to suffer living abroad and you don’t want to have to come back to earn more money.

    A money plan will make sure you stay gone!

  17. Roughly said – 1000 to 1200 per month (incl. Healthcare Insurance) for a „normal/good/defensive“ life in PH Country side and 50K savings – before you don’t have that, don’t even think to move
    My short general advice

  18. Let’s talk about the alternatives. You can risk your neck and find a real wife and have children, knowing that if anything goes wrong you are boned.
    Or, you can live on life support on your country, be unhappy and childless and put aside those $50 a month and have your social security kick in in case you need it.

    I see men as living and thinking spermatozoons. We have a life imperative: “grow and multiply” and we’ll pick that over any risk and any personal harm.

    This is why you shall see $500/mo guys still trying their luck in the Philippines. The alternative? Live a sterile life and get your DNA extinct.

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